Bridges launches impact fund 6, targeting £500m+

Bridges aims to add decarbonisation projects and expand its European footprint for its sixth vintage of its flagship real estate impact strategy, NPM has learned.

Bridges Fund Management has commenced fundraising for its sixth flagship impact fund, New Private Markets has learned. The firm will seek “over £500 million ($654 million; €583 million)”, but has not yet decided on a final target, according to a source familiar with the fundraise.

It is a real estate impact strategy investing in affordable housing, healthcare and sustainable logistics.

While most of these will involve developing greenfield projects, Bridges also plans to acquire some brownfield assets to decarbonise them. Most of Fund VI’s investments will be in the UK, but the firm plans to expand its footprint in Europe with this fund and is particularly interested in markets such as Germany, the source said.

Decarbonisation is an area that the firm has previously explored: Fund V, which closed on £350 million in 2022 and is nearly fully invested, has acquired an office building which it is repurposing for residential purposes. Part of this repurposing involves implementing retrofits to reduce the building’s carbon footprint. And there is a climate component to Bridges’ emerging markets fund, as NPM reported last year.

Going global

Bridges has been gradually expanding beyond the UK. Fund V invested in Ireland, and its private equity strategy’s fourth fund invested in a German company in 2022. Last year also saw the firm launch an emerging markets-focused social outcomes fund in partnership with UBS. Bridges also has a $63 million US-focused buyout fund that closed in 2016.

Most of Fund V’s investors are UK-based, including the pension funds of Clwyd, East Riding, Merseyside, South Yorkshire and the Environment Agency, but the firm has also been courting overseas LPs. Fund V also drew commitments from French family office Enowe and a Canadian investor, the JW McConnell Family Foundation. While many would-be investors in real estate impact funds would prefer locally-focused strategies, “they were able to release the geographical constraint in order to find the best-in-class manager”, Maggie Loo, a partner at the firm, told NPM last year.

Bridges declined to comment for this story.