Henderson raises €859m for PFI

The fund will focus on buying equity stakes in the secondary market of operational Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects, under the careful stewardship of Guy Pigache and Paul Woodbury.

Henderson closed its first secondary fund in October 2005 on €500m, and launched the second soon afterwards, raising €846m for a first closing in October 2006. Investors include in this latest offering include large UK and European pension funds, with many returning from the preceding fund.

The new fund has already invested in Henderson Infrastructure Holdco, the subsidiary which acquired John Laing in December. Laing is an owner, operator and manager of public sector infrastructure assets in the UK and internationally, and counts in its portfolio the MoD HQ in Whitehall, the Second Severn Crossing, the E39 road in Norway and the A1 road in Poland.

Guy Pigache, partner of Henderson Equity Partners, said: “This is a great start to the year for Henderson. Closing our second fund less than 18 months after the first fund is testimony to the success Henderson has seen over the past two years.”

The private finance initiative (PFI) started life in 1992, introduced by the then British Chancellor Norman Lamont as a way to finance, build, operate and maintain public sector facilities and services using private sector money and expertise. It was not until 1997 with the advent of the Labour Government that PFI really took off, and over 700 projects have since been funded, with a total capital value of £49bn, more than 500 of which are now operational.