Stafford Capital holds infra first close

Stafford expects infrastructure secondaries deal volume to almost double by 2025 to $10bn.

Stafford Capital Partners has held a first close on its latest infrastructure secondaries fund.

The London-based asset manager has raised €153 million for Stafford Infrastructure Secondaries Fund IV with the support of eight institutional investors from the US and Europe, according to a statement.

The fund will target core, yielding infrastructure assets at a discount, said partner William Greene, adding: “We are very thankful for the support from both existing and new investors who appreciate the resilience of the asset class, particularly amidst these challenging times.”

Stafford has around $1 billion in infrastructure assets under management and exposure to approximately 300 assets located primarily in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development states, the statement noted.

Stafford’s 2016-vintage predecessor Fund II closed on €399 million, against a target of €250 million, according to data from sister title Infrastructure Investor. Stafford did not respond to a question about the existence of a Fund III.

Stafford expects infrastructure secondaries deal volume to hit $10 billion in the next five years, up from around $6 billion now, in line with growing primary commitments to the asset class, Secondaries Investor reported in March.

“It is our perception that the market is growing in line with or more quickly than the demand for such transactions, ensuring that infrastructure secondaries remain a buyer’s market for specialist players,” said Greene.

In July, Strategic Partners held a $3.75 billion final close on Strategic Partners Infrastructure III, the largest infrastructure secondaries fund yet raised. Around the same time it closed the largest infrastructure secondaries deal, acquiring a $1 billion portfolio from Alaska Permanent Fund, Secondaries Investor reported.

Infrastructure transaction volumes declined by 4.4 percent in the first half of this year, compared with more than 50 percent for private equity and real estate assets, according to a survey by intermediary Setter Capital.