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Infra funds in final stretch for EDF’s French EV company

A major capital raise backing the expansion of EDF’s French electric vehicle (EV) charging subsidiary Izivia is in its final stretch, said several sources familiar with the deal.

New Zealand infrastructure investor Morrison & Co and French state-owned banking group Caisse des dépôts (CDC), via its Banque des Territoires unit, submitted binding offers for the deal by 23 October, said the sources.

Morrison & Co, which is being advised by Rothschild, is seen as the front-runner for the deal, according to the sources, who added EDF might soon enter exclusive negotiations.

Demeter Partners, a Paris-based mid-cap infrastructure investor, has also been circling the deal in the second phase, two sources added, although it is unclear if it ultimately submitted an offer.

EDF, which has been working with Macquarie Capital as a financial advisor, has been seeking an investor to back Izivia’s EUR 450m rollout of public EV charging points, mostly at the premises of retailers in France but also in Belgium and Italy.

These will include at least part of the 2,000 EV charging points that Izivia is set to install across McDonald’s restaurants in France. The EDF subsidiary won a tender for the deal earlier this year. New projects will also be included in the perimeter.

EDF is looking to raise around EUR 350m of equity from a new investor in return for an 85% stake in an SPV that will own the new network, according to the sources.

CDC however has offered to acquire only a significant minority stake in the business, as it usually avoids taking majority stakes, said two of the sources.

Demeter Partners has an existing relationship with Izivia, having agreed in October to a joint venture with the company to install 210 on-street charging points in Limoges, central France. The fund is likely to struggle with the size of the investment required. Its latest fund, Climate Infrastructure Fund (CIF), raised EUR 100m at first close and is targeting EUR 300m.

Morrison is yet to make any investments in the EV charging sector, having focused mostly on digital infrastructure, renewables, and utilities in Europe.

The Izivia deal comes amid a booming EV charging market in France. Charging operator Electra is running a process for a major equity raise, with PGGM, Bpifrance Investissement, and Infranity among its suitors.

Earlier this year Dutch pension fund APG committed to invest EUR 250m into Driveco, which is also backed by Mirova. In 2022, Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) invested EUR 240m into Zeplug and DIF committed EUR 180m to Bump.

CDC and Morrison declined to comment. EDF, Demeter, and Rothschild did not respond to requests for comment.