Stafford raises more than €800m for infra secondaries

Stafford has raised its fourth flagship vehicle at a time of strong demand for inflation-resistant asset classes such as infrastructure.

Stafford Capital Partners has pushed its infrastructure assets under management towards the $2 billion mark with its latest round of fundraising.

The London-headquartered alternatives manager has held a €731 million final close on Stafford Infrastructure Secondaries Fund IV with the support of 33 investors, according to a statement. It has also raised a £100 million ($116.7 million; €116 million) separately managed account for “geographically focused” infrastructure investments.

Fund IV came to market in 2020 with a target of €750 million, according to Secondaries Investor data. It had raised €580 million as of May.

The fund has done 13 deals with a further three set to close, according to the statement. Stafford expects Fund IV to be 75 percent committed by the fourth quarter.

The close bring Stafford’s infrastructure assets under management to $1.7 billion, according to the statement.

Stafford mainly invests in core infrastructure funds in Europe, North America and Australasia on an LP-led and GP-led basis. Fund IV is classified as an Article 8 fund under Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation, meaning it promotes “environmental or social characteristics” and invests in businesses that “follow good governance practices.”

In July, it bought a £58 million ($67 million; €67.4 million) LP interest in Equitix Fund III, a 2013-vintage vehicle invested in the  social infrastructure, transportation, environmental services and renewables sectors, Secondaries Investor reported.

Energy and infrastructure secondaries accounted for 7 percent of the $53 billion of deal volume in the first half, according to data from Evercore. Nine percent of the dry powder held by secondaries buyers is earmarked for infrastructure, making it the second most popular asset class after buyout.

Demand for infrastructure and credit has increased in the past 12 months due to the inflation protection it offers, Secondaries Investor has reported.