Eurazeo makes ‘Article 9’ debut with maritime infra fund

The firm – an outspoken proponent of sustainability in investment – will try to raise €300m for the Europe-focused vehicle.

European investment firm Eurazeo is seeking €300 million for a “Sustainable Maritime Infrastructure” private credit fund, according to a statement. The fund will be the firm’s first to be marketed as “Article 9” under the new EU rules about sustainable finance.

Under the EU’s sustainable finance disclosure regulation, “Article 9” funds are those that invest to promote a particular environmental or social objective, and report on progress against that objective to investors. It is the most sustainable categorisation in the new system.

Eurazeo’s fund will invest in “environmentally-friendly infrastructure and technologies that support the transition to a low-carbon economy”. According to the firm, it will “mainly finance three types of infrastructure: ships equipped with advanced technologies that negate or curtail environmental harm, innovative harbour equipment, and assets that contribute to the development of offshore renewable energy.” It will make around 50 investments, all in Europe.

The European Investment Fund, an EU development finance organisation, is understood to be considering a commitment. Around €100 million of capital has already been gathered, according to one source with knowledge of the process, with a final close planned no later than March 2022. Eurazeo declined to comment on fundraising progress.

The fund will acquire maritime assets and lease these back to operators, generating quarterly distributions from rents. Says the firm: “The fund will directly own these maritime assets to further limit risk [and] will benefit from Solvency Capital Requirement of less than 10 percent.”

In terms of impact measurement, portfolio emissions reductions will be audited annually by PwC.

Eurazeo has been outspoken about matters of sustainability and in September last year announced a series of ambitious targets relating to carbon emissions and diversity.