Macquarie has raised £579m (€730m) for its infrastructure debt strategy in a first close.

The fund, which will invest in inflation-linked debt in the UK, attracted commitments from pension schemes, Macquarie said.

Macquarie said capital raising was continuing with “strong momentum”.

At launch in March, James Wilson, the company’s portfolio manager for infrastructure-debt investment solutions, said it had estimated inflation-linked borrower demand at around £4bn.

An unnamed UK pension fund made an initial £200m commitment to the fund, which is targeting the utility sector, renewables and offshore transmission owners (OFTOs).

The fund will concentrate on investment-grade opportunities on a smaller scale, starting from £10m – for which there is more demand, Wilson said at the time.

The new fund will target average returns of 250 basis points above index-linked Gilts.

Investors in the fund will be paid semi-annually.

Macquarie said its wider UK, inflation-linked, infrastructure-debt strategy, which includes the fund as well as separately managed accounts, has now raised £979m from 11 major institutional investors.

The company expects commitments for its global infrastructure debt platform to reach £2.2bn by the second quarter of next year.

Andrew Robertson, co-head of Macquarie’s Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS), said inflation-linked commitments complemented the company’s existing mandates in both fixed and floating-rate debt in the UK and Europe.

“We are finding that borrowers are often looking for a mix of inflation-linked and fixed or floating-rate debt,” Robertson said, adding that it had received “strong interest” from European and Asian investors.