Ardian is selling part of an infrastructure portfolio worth more than €1bn to APG and AXA.

The portfolio is made up of the Italian gas distribution company 2i Rete Gas, French firms LGV Lisea and Synerail, and a Spanish toll road.

It also includes French renewable energy company Kallista Energy, Italian renewable energy company 3 New & Partners, French toll road A88 and Italian hospital HISI Legnano.

The portfolio comes from Ardian’s second generation infrastructure fund which closed in 2007. Dutch pension asset manager APG and French insurer AXA were both investors in this fund.

Ardian said the sale was part of its plan when the fund was launched, to explore liquidity options for investors after the 10-year mark.

Ardian – which runs $66bn (€56bn) – will remain the asset manager and adviser of the portfolio.

Mathias Burghardt, a member of Ardian’s executive committee, said: “We continually explore how we can meet the different demands of our investors both by providing liquidity and maximising returns.

“Indeed, all assets are valued above the net asset value, offering attractive returns for our investors.”

Marcus Thiel, chief investment officer at AXA, said: “This investment is a new step in the long-term partnership that we have with Ardian. Collaborating with APG in such core infrastructure assets perfectly fits the needs and the strategy of a long-term investor such as AXA.”

Jan-Willem Ruisbroek, senior portfolio infrastructure manager at APG, said: “This transaction follows on APG’s strategy to acquire large portfolios of high quality core infrastructure assets, while at the same time significantly enhancing the controls over those assets.

“Club deals with like-minded investors like AXA, supplemented with leading asset managers like Ardian Infrastructure, is one of our preferred routes of deploying capital.”

Ruisbroek also said the transaction contributed to APG’s Sustainable Development Investment targets, with significant exposure to renewable energy and high speed rail.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.