Stafford buys LP stake in UK and Italy-focused infra fund

Energy and infrastructure secondaries accounted for 6% of the $134bn in deal volume last year, according to Evercore.

Stafford Capital Partners, the 25th-ranked secondaries firm by fundraising according to the SI 50, has acquired a stake in a UK and Italy-focused infrastructure fund as it continues fundraising for its latest infra-focused vehicle.

The London-headquartered firm bought a £58 million ($69 million; €68 million) LP interest in infra manager Equitix‘s Equitix Fund III, a 2013-vintage vehicle, according to a statement. The fund includes 46 mainly public-private partnerships and private finance initiative assets across social infrastructure, transportation, environmental services and renewables.

“The secondary market for stakes in infrastructure funds continues to grow and evolve and there is a strong appetite for the assets and, importantly, the diverse yielding portfolios that Equitix manages,” Hugh Crossley, Equitix’s chief executive, said in the statement.

Some of Equitix’s funds have an organised liquidity window at year 10 in their lives, Crossley said, adding that this transaction showed that the firm’s investors can access liquidity via the secondaries market at any stage in fund’s life.

Equitix has run secondaries processes for its LPs in the past, on its Equitix Fund I, Fund II, Fund IV and other co-investment vehicles. The firm did not engage an adviser for this latest process involving Fund III, a £505 million vehicle, according to data from affiliate title Infrastructure Investor.

The transaction was agreed at the end of June.

Stafford used its 2020-vintage Stafford Infrastructure Secondaries Fund IV as well as capital from a separately managed account for a single investor, according to the statement. SISF IV has committed around €350 million after this deal, which is the 13th completed by the vehicle.

The transaction comes two and a half months after Stafford said it had bought a roughly €100 million stake in DIF Capital Partners’ fifth flagship infrastructure fund, DIF Infrastructure V.

SISF IV has a €750 million target, according to Secondaries Investor data. It had raised €580 million as of May and is expected to hold its final close in the third quarter of this year, according to a statement about the DIF transaction.

Energy and infrastructure secondaries accounted for 6 percent of the $134 billion in deal volume last year, according to data from Evercore. The majority of infrastructure deals involved core-plus assets, followed by core, and value-add/opportunistic.