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Amundi, EDF joint venture targets €700m for debut real estate fund

Amundi and Electricité de France (EDF)’s newly combined asset management company is targeting €700m for its first real estate fund.

The closed-end fund is expected to reach a first close in June. 

Amundi and EDF have already committed to seed the pan-European fund with €300m.

Amundi has applied to the Luxembourg regulator for the fund, for which external capital is now being raised.

Four investments for the fund have already been made: two offices and a hotel in Berlin, and a shopping centre in Cottbus, close to the German-Polish border.

Amundi’s planned asset management tie-up with EDF is something of a first for France’s financial markets regulator (AMF).

Amundi will hold a majority stake in the new – and currently unnamed – asset management company.

The focus will be renewable infrastructure and real estate, with an AUM target of €700m-800m in the first year and €1.5bn over three years.

Discussions with EDF started in August last year, and the joint venture was announced in the autumn.

Fierce competition and scarcity of investment opportunities in alternative asset classes were among factors behind the creation of the new €1.5bn fund management company, Pedro Antonio Arias, global head of alternatives at French investment manager Amundi, told IPE sister publication IP Real Estate in December last year.

Infrastructure investments will be managed by a French fund under French supervision, which is also currently pending authorisation.

A recent focus has been recruitment, and initially there will be 15 people – five or six in Luxembourg and nine or 10 in Paris, depending on whether one or two new renewables funds are launched.

The teams will partly be staffed with personnel from EDF and Amundi, although the real estate team could involve external recruitment.

The identity of the chief executive has yet to be disclosed.

Amundi and EDF will both commit seed capital to mature solar and wind assets currently owned by EDF Energies Nouvelles, which will sell a stake to the new venture.

A further fund is likely to focus on energy efficiency, an existing business model in the US and Germany but new to France.

Next year, the venture could look at hydro assets.

At the moment, there are no plans to invest in core infrastructure, although this is possible in the future if the market becomes more liquid and transparent, with more addressable volumes.

See the May edition of IPE for more on Amundi and EDF’s new asset management collaboration

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