PIP makes debut investment from multi-strategy fund

The UK pension platform has helped refinance a rooftop solar portfolio in England and Wales shortly after reaching a first close on the £1bn vehicle.

The UK’s Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PIP) has invested £27.5 million ($36.8 million; €33 million) in inflation-linked debt to help refinance a portfolio of 2,366 rooftop solar assets, PDI sister title Infrastructure Investor has reported.

The loan, arranged by London-based boutique Novatio Capital, is the first deal by the platform’s recently launched Multi-Strategy Infrastructure Fund. PIP reached a £125m first close on the vehicle last April.

The rooftop solar assets, distributed across England and Wales, have a total installed capacity of 6.71 MWp. The financing is repayable over 20 years and benefits from the UK’s feed-in tariff regime.

PIP aims to raise £1 billion for its multi-strategy fund, which it launched last March after being authorised as a full-scope Alternative Investment Fund Manager by the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK's financial watchdog.

The vehicle is “focused on a buy-and-hold strategy to avoid churn,” PIP said in a statement, and deliver long-term index-linked cash flows of RPI + 0-2 percent and RPI + 2-5 percent, “to suit the differing investment strategies of individual pension schemes”.

Fees are set at a maximum of about 0.5 basis points and the minimum commitment is £1 million. Favouring sectors including transportation, renewable energy, utilities, telecoms, housing and social infrastructure, it also offers a co-investment programme to larger investors.

Aside from its debut fund, PIP is also investing via the Dalmore PPP Equity PIP Fund and Aviva Investors' PIP Solar Photovoltaics Fund – which have respective sizes of more than £500 million and £130 million – as well as a £370 million co-investment alongside Dalmore in the £4.2 billion Thames Tideway Tunnel.PDI