AllianzGI infra debt team agrees first deal

The asset manager’s fledgling team will provide €157m to a French PFI project.

Allianz Global Investors has agreed to invest €157 million in a long-term debt financing of an infrastructure project in the Hauts-de-Seine department of France, which involves the creation of a cultural centre dedicated to music.

It is the first deal agreed by AllianzGI’s infrastructure debt team since its inception late last year, although it is involved in a number of other projects that are still at the bidding stage, a spokesman confirmed.

The public-private partnership sees Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France (a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction) partner with Sodexo, TF1 and OFI InfraVia on the project. TF1 and Sodexo will provide management and operational control of the facility once it is built, whilst OFI InfraVia is the lead shareholder on the equity side. Banks will provide debt to underwrite the construction phase of the project, with AllianzGI providing debt financing in the post-construction phase.

The project will create a ‘Music City’ covering 36,500 million square feet on Seguin Island in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris. It will comprise concert halls, spaces for music training and teaching, recording studios, restaurants and shops.

AllianzGi will manage the investment on behalf of Allianz France and other Allianz Group Companies over a 30 year term. The drawdown of the investment will occur post-completion, expected in mid-2016.

Deborah Zurkow, chief investment officer of AllianzGI’s infrastructure debt team, said in a statement: “Investing in major infrastructure projects offers our institutional clients an attractive alternative to other long-term fixed income investments.  Allianz has been among the first to understand this and to act on it.  With bids made on a number of other infrastructure projects, we look forward to securing and managing further investments for clients across Europe.”