Macquarie infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions has secured a €1.25 billion mandate to lend to European infrastructure projects on behalf of two Dutch pension funds.
The deal was arranged between MIDIS and Dutch asset manager MN, which is representing Pensioenfonds Metaal & Techniek and Pensioenfonds Metalektro. The mandate represents the first allocations by these pension funds to infrastructure debt. The two funds have combined assets of €143 billion managed for employees and businesses in the Dutch metal industry.
The mandate will aim to build a diverse portfolio of debt investments in Western Europe across renewable energy, transport, telecommunications and social infrastructure.
Commenting on the deal, MN senior fund manager, Markus Schaen, said: “This mandate offers PMT and PME a positive opportunity to further diversify their portfolios and gain exposure to this growing asset class.”
MIDIS co-head Tim Humphrey told PDI that the deal had been in the works since 2018 but that large separately managed account mandates can take a significant amount of time to negotiate. “Very large investors with assets of €100 billion or more that want to make substantial commitments to an asset class will look to SMAs so they can fine tune the mandate to deliver what they want,” he said.
“We see big fixed-income investors are moving some of their corporate bond allocations into infrastructure debt through SMAs, which really allows them to calibrate their exposure to their own risk thresholds.”
Typically, infrastructure debt can deliver 50-100 basis points above corporate bonds, according to Humphrey, which can make a substantial difference to pension investors that are facing long-term liabilities over many decades.