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Sérgio Monteiro and António Pires de Lima approach EIB for investment in the fund 2019-05-12, Expresso

European Investment Bank analyses the opportunity to invest € 40 million into Iberian infrastructure fund of Horizon Equity Partners.

The possible investment of EIB into the fund managed by Sérgio Monteiro and António Pires de Lima is still under consideration by the bank. Contacted by Expresso, EIB said it does not have a predefined deadline to complete the assessment for Horizon Equity Partners, a “complex process that could take time,” according to the bank. This would not be EIB's first equity investment in Portugal: in 2017 the bank invested € 10 million into a toy company Science4You in a mixed equity and debt deal.

Sérgio Monteiro and António Pires de Lima's approach to EIB has taken considering the willingness of this institution to support clean energy and infrastructure projects, which are core investment areas of Horizon's first fund. The fund is positioning itself to invest in the Iberian Peninsula, particularly in Portugal, in energy, transport, telecommunications, construction and hotel assets. Horizon’s kick-off was the purchase of Altice's telecom towers, in a consortium with Morgan Stanley, announced last year.

“We plan to invest over € 100 million over the next 12 months, either through the company we already own together with Morgan Stanley's infrastructure fund or through the acquisition and development of new projects,” wrote Sérgio Monteiro and António Pires de Lima to Expresso.

The two managers, both former governors (Sérgio Monteiro was Secretary of State for Infrastructure from 2011 to 2015 and Pires de Lima was Minister of Economy from 2013 to 2015), indicated that their goal, is “to have a balance between brownfield and greenfield projects”, as well as enabling investments to expand some of the assets acquired in the meantime.

The fund, which will have a duration of 10 years (extendable for two more years), is intended for institutional investors and family offices. This vehicle has no minimum or maximum amount required per investor.

LUXEMBOURG-BASED FUND

The infrastructure fund managed by Sérgio Monteiro and António Pires de Lima is based in Luxembourg, one of the most preferred jurisdictions for investment vehicles, both for taxation and for the legal flexibility of creating funds with different share classes, among other benefits.

The managers explained that Luxembourg choice “was mostly a decision in line with the expectation and feedback from national and international investors”.

Although Horizon is a Portuguese company, which operates and creates jobs in Portugal, with investments primarily in Portugal, relatively to the capital call platform, investors are more comfortable with a reality they already know. As almost all of them already invest through funds set up in Luxembourg or in the United Kingdom, we have eventually selected one of these jurisdictions for the fund's structure,” added Sérgio Monteiro and António Pires de Lima.

Portugal has several projects pending approval by EIB. Among the most recent is a € 120 million funding request from EGF to support a total investment of € 246 million in waste management over the next three years. There is also a funding request from EDP Renováveis to obtain a € 48 million financing from EIB for three wind farms in Portugal, whose investment will amount to € 96 million (last year EIB provided EDP with € 60 million for Windfloat, the first offshore wind farm in Portugal).

Still under consideration is the possibility for EIB to provide BCP with a € 100 million hedging instrument in the context of lending to medium-sized companies.

Last year, EIB signed a € 100 million financing with DFI - Development Finance Institution to support the capitalization of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Sérgio Monteiro and António Pires de Lima approach EIB for investment in the fund
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