AXA Investment Managers-Real Assets has taken a 42% stake in a French motorway in a joint venture with Crédit Agricole Assurances – its debut direct infrastructure deal.

The investment manager said it was acting for AXA Germany and AXA France in the deal – the first direct infrastructure transaction for AXA IM-Real Assets.

The stake in Atlandes, the concession-holder of the A63 motorway in southwest France, was sold by InfraRed Capital Partners’ Infrastructure Fund III.

Ruulke Bagijn, who left PGGM earlier this year to become global head of real asset private equity at AXA IM-Real Assets, said the A63 was a successful and well-managed motorway showing the “importance and positive impact” of attracting private investment into major infrastructure projects.

“We are very pleased,” he said, “to be working in coordination with our new partner Crédit Agricole Assurances. Our combined experience and strategic approach will lead to the asset’s further prosperity and continued operational success.”

The remaining 58% of Atlandes is held by a consortium of industrial partners and financial investors.

Mark Gilligan last month joined AXA IM-Real Assets as head of infrastructure equity.