BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has raised an initial €300m for its second European infrastructure debt fund.

BNPP AM said the BNP Paribas European Infrastructure Debt Fund II (Infra Debt II) fund’s first close was backed by insurance companies, pension funds and corporates in the UK, France and Belgium, with further investors expected from Europe and Asia.

Infra Debt II, launched in April 2021, has a hard cap of €1bn. The predecessor fund, which launched in 2017, raised €474m.

Infra Debt II invests in senior secured debt in Europe across multiple infrastructure sectors, with a particular focus on digital infrastructure and renewable energy. The fund is also targeting opportunities within utilities and social infrastructure, the manager said.

BNPP AM said the fund has already committed to eight investments for an overall amount of around €250m, within fibre optic, social infrastructure, utilities and renewable energy.

Karen Azoulay, the head of infrastructure debt at BNP Paribas Asset Management, said: “European infrastructure debt has proved to be highly resilient against a wider market environment of increased uncertainty and higher levels of volatility during the pandemic.

“Investor recognition of this, together with the sustainable long term returns that the asset class offers has been reflected in the support that we have received from existing investors and new clients for our second senior debt fund.

“Renewable energy and digital infrastructure are two key areas of focus for the fund, both of which are experiencing growing demand and offer interesting opportunities to deploy capital.”

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