Inarcassa and Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo are among the founding partners of BlackRock’s open-ended core infrastructure equity fund which has so far raised almost US$1bn (€922m).

BlackRock said the Evergreen Infrastructure fund has secured cornerstone commitments from Inarcassa, the pension fund for self-employed engineers and architects in Italy, and Intesa, as well as several European institutional investors.  

The fund has also agreed to acquire a US commercial and industrial solar and battery platform, but BlackRock did not disclose any financial details.

The vehicle will invest in infrastructure businesses in Europe and North America that support the transition to cleaner energy and enhance energy security.

Western Europe, including Italy, is a major focus for the fund, with half to three-fifths of its investments expected to be made in this region. The fund will also prioritise investments in transportation, digital infrastructure, and the circular economy.

Anne Valentine Andrews, global head of infrastructure and real estate at BlackRock, said: “In today’s evolving energy landscape, companies are looking for capital that will partner with them as they adapt their businesses and navigate an accelerating long-term shift towards a lower-carbon economy.

“Evergreen’s forward-looking lens, partnership approach, and focus on core businesses and assets is designed to help investors capitalise on these dynamics, while supporting the sustainable growth of essential infrastructure.”

Flavio Gianetti, executive director of M&A and group shareholdings at Intesa Sanpaolo, said: “We are very pleased to be part of a project that underscores the ongoing importance of developing cutting-edge infrastructure with a strong focus on energy transition and sustainability.

“BlackRock’s new fund will span Europe and North America, regions teeming with opportunities for the construction or revitalisation of sustainable telecommunications, digital, energy, gas storage and renewable energy infrastructure.”

Giuseppe Santoro, Inarcassa’s president, said the pension fund’s commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance has gone through many improvements in sustainable investments in recent years.

“By choosing financial policies that secure the pension future of our members, we are not only seeking to maximise returns; by joining BlackRock’s Evergreen Infrastructure fund we are entering a network of institutional investors who are active in supporting the transformation of an evolving, low-carbon economy, while promoting the wellbeing of communities and the environment,” he said.

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