Global alternative asset manager ICG is in talks to buy a French smart metering business from InfraVia.

London-listed ICG said it has entered into exclusive negotiations to buy a majority stake in OCEA Smart Building for an undisclosed sum.

InfraVia European Infrastructure Fund III acquired OCEA in December 2016.

OSB has more than three million meters installed, making it a leading player in the French market for smart water and heat metering infrastructures.

Following the recent acquisition of Bornes Solutions, OCEA is now also involved in the rental of charging stations for electric vehicles.

The acquisition, subject to review by relevant employee representative bodies, will be the ICG newly created European infrastructure team’s second investment.

In February, the infrastructure team agreed its first deal with an investment in a telecom network services provider Océinde Communications to support the rollout of the company’s services across the French overseas department of Réunion Island.

“The team is also in advanced discussions regarding several other investment opportunities across Western Europe,” ICG said today.

Benoît Durteste, ICG CEO and CIO, said the OCEA transaction would mark a “decisive step in our infrastructure strategy”, which is focused on best-in-class mid-market opportunities across Europe, allowing ICG to consider launching a fundraising campaign later in the year.

Vincent Levita, founder and CEO of InfraVia, said: “Since our acquisition of OCEA in December 2016, the company has continuously strengthened its positioning in its historical market, while optimising its organisation in order to expand into new markets such as heat meters and charging stations for electric vehicles.”

Emmanuel Croc, CEO of OCEA, said: “This alliance would give us the capacity to continue financing our growth - in an infrastructure model with long-term recurring contracts - and actively contribute to the energy transition of housing and transport in France.”