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French manager’s maiden infra fund hits EUR 100m first close

French investment firm Epopee Gestion has reached the first close on its maiden infrastructure equity fund, which focuses on low-carbon infrastructure investments across western France.

The Brest, Brittany-headquartered firm told Infralogic it has raised EUR 100m for the Epopee Infra Climat I fund, which aims to support a dozen greenfield projects in sustainable mobility, clean energy production and climate change adaptation sectors, as well as maritime infrastructure. 

The 13-year fund aims to raise between EUR 250m and EUR 300m by final close by the end of next year, and has a EUR 350m hard cap, the company said. Each investment is expected to be in the region of EUR 20m to EUR 40m.

It has already identified two initial investments, which are at an advanced stage of negotiations. One is in wind-propelled cargos, part of the maritime infrastructure sector, which it expects to make up around one third of the fund. The other investment is in the renewable energy space.

Geographically, Epopee Infra Climat I will mainly focus on the so-called “French Atlantic Arch”, meaning the four French regions of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Pays de la Loire, Normandy and Brittany. It might also assess projects in other regions of France.

It is classified as an Article 9 fund, the most sustainable classification under the EU’s SFDR regulation.

LPs that supported the fundraise at first close include Caisse des Depots, Tikehau Capital, insurance groups Abeille Assurances, Allianz France, Groupama and SWEN Capital Partners-managed Suravenir via Suravenir Infrastructures Durables, as well as regional banks Caisse d’Epargne Bretagne Pays de Loire and Banque Populaire Grand Ouest, the company said.

The manager last October hired former Meridiam director Emmanuel Walliser as senior investment director and partner to help devise an infrastructure investment strategy and to lead the new climate-focused fund. In addition to Walliser, the infrastructure team includes investment director Gonzague Touze and associate Sixtine Michau.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher is the legal advisor on the fundraising process, according to the company. 

Epopee Gestion was founded in 2020 by Ronan Le Moal and Charles Cabillic to support regional companies across western France. Besides infrastructure, it focuses on innovation and digital investments, SME transitions and sustainable real estate. 

Epopee Gestion’s geographical coverage is set to expand progressively over the coming years, according to the company.