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NN Group and Rivage Investment launch €300m European infrastructure impact fund 

Published: 3 March 2023

The fund is close to making its first investment providing finance for the development and construction of renewable energy projects in Finland and Sweden.

The new fund will invest in infrastructure projects across Europe in the areas of wind, solar and hydro energy, public transport, EV charging, battery and energy management solutions | Photo by CPT Scapes on iStock

Dutch international financial services company NN Group has teamed up with French impact fund managers Rivage Investments (Rivage) to launch the €300m Rivage Private Debt Fund for Infrastructure Climate Solutions. 

The Article 9 fund aims to invest into 10-15 infrastructure projects operating across Europe in the areas of wind, solar and hydro energy, public transport, EV charging, battery and energy management solutions. 

As a dedicated NN Group fund, the full €300m has been committed by the company, although Rivage said it would also be investing its own capital for an undisclosed sum.  

Described as a high return debt fund, the fund will offer medium term financing with expected annual target returns of between 7-10%.  

Rivage, which recently launched a European Climate Debt Solutions fund with an anchor investment from the European Investment Fund, is a specialist in European infrastructure debt and public sector debt investments and has invested €1.5bn over the past 10 years in solar farms and wind power plants in Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. 

Speaking to Impact Investor, Patrick Raffard, head of business development for Rivage, said the fund was just days away from making its first investment “providing a renewable energy developer with financing for the development and construction of their pipeline of projects in Finland and Sweden.” 

Jelle van der Giessen, chief investment officer for NN Group, said: “Contributing to sustainable energy solutions is a core objective of NN Group. The new commitment in the Infrastructure Climate Solutions fund will enable us to further support the energy transition and move to net-zero in Europe. The commitment is part of NN’s target to invest an additional EUR 6 billion in climate solutions by 2030.” 

Speaking to Impact Investor, Maurice Piek, spokesperson for NN Group, explained that on top of earlier investments in climate solutions to the sum of €5bn in 2021, NN Group has so far invested €3bn of the €6bn target in a range of funds and projects.

This includes €500m through Positive Impact Programmatic Venture, a collaboration launched in 2022 between NN and CBRE Investment Management, which will invest in Dutch sustainable and affordable residential real estate to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions and €125m in Dutch Climate Action Fund, launched in 2022 with DIF Capital Partners, to invest in projects and companies active in climate change solutions that support the Dutch energy transition. 

Impact focus 

With a focus on sustainable infrastructure assets that Rivage say will enable a reduction in carbon emissions, advance the transition to a renewable energy mix, improve access to clean transportation and progress energy efficiency, the fund has three impact criteria: alignment to the Paris Agreement goals, alignment with the EU taxonomy and the setting of a maximum threshold of tons of CO2 emissions per million of Euro invested through the fund.   

The impact of the fund’s holdings will be measured and monitored with the help of a specialist external consultant.  

Asked about the outlook for investment in sustainable infrastructure assets in Europe, Raffard said there was a huge pipeline of projects in Europe driven by Fit for 55, the EU’s package of measures that target a reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, and the REPowerEU plan, the European Commission’s plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030.   

“Annual investment required in the EU for electricity generation and transmission is in excess of €160bn, so there is significant opportunity,” he added.   

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