24 January 2023  |  Toronto

DIF Capital Partners invests in Canadian fiber platform RFNOW

DIF Capital Partners is pleased to announce that it has closed an investment in Canadian internet service provider RFNOW Inc. to fund the further growth of its telecommunications network. RFNOW currently provides enterprise fiber, residential fiber, fixed wireless internet and phone services over its 1,500 km fiber optic network and tower portfolio in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada. DIF made the investment through its CIF III fund.

The company will enhance telecommunications services for residents, businesses, and public services. RFNOW’s high-speed fiber network will increase economic and societal opportunities to local communities in historically underserved areas.

This investment follows prior successfully developed fiber investments by DIF Capital Partners in rural Canada.

“This investment will provide immediate and long-term benefits to RFNOW customers and employees,” said Chris Kennedy, CEO of RFNOW. “We are extremely proud of what our team has accomplished to get us here. Now, with this new partnership, we are well-positioned to enhance our existing operations and accelerate investment in new communities and regions.”

Willem Jansonius, partner and Head of CIF at DIF Capital Partners commented: “RFNOW is offering a tremendously important internet service connecting relatively remote areas with its state-of-the-art fiber technology. The management has done a great job in bringing the company to where it is now and we are very much looking forward to growing it further together. The addition to our existing investments offers a gateway to unlock even bigger parts of Canada.”

DIF was advised by Agentis Capital, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, and KPMG in connection with this transaction.

About RFNOW Inc.

Founded in 2000, RFNOW Inc. is an independent internet service provider serving communities across Manitoba and Southeastern Saskatchewan. RFNOW specializes in the development, construction, and operation of fiber and wireless infrastructure. Based in Virden, Manitoba, RFNOW provides internet services to residential and commercial customers in more than 170 communities within 72 municipalities. The company provides high-speed internet and voice services to thousands of residential and business clients over a 1,500 kilometer network of owned fiber and tower portfolio. Today, RFNOW employs over 120 staff members and continues to grow and service more areas in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

For more information, please visit www.rfnow.com.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with more than EUR 15 billion of AUM. DIF was founded in 2005 and has built a leading position in managing mid-market investments, primarily in Europe, North America and Australia.

DIF follows two strategies: its traditional DIF funds, of which DIF VII is the latest fund in the series, invest in lower risk mid-sized infrastructure projects and companies in the energy transition (incl. renewables) and utilities sector, as well as PPPs and concessions. The firm’s CIF funds invest in small to mid-sized companies that will thrive in the new economy. These companies are typically active in the digital, energy transition and sustainable transportation sector.

With a team of over 200 professionals in 11 offices, DIF Capital Partners offers a unique market approach combining global presence with the benefits of strong local networks and investment capabilities. DIF is located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto.

For more information please visit www.dif.eu.

 

Contact DIF: Diederik Heinink, d.heinink@dif.eu

10 January 2023  |  New York

DIF Capital Partners acquires US-based data center provider Tonaquint

DIF Capital Partners is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement to acquire Tonaquint Data Centers, a leading data center provider in the Mountain West region in the United States, headquartered in St. George, Utah. Tonaquint’s management continues to hold a minority stake. The investment will be done through DIF’s core-plus CIF III fund.

Tonaquint is a colocation and cloud service provider with operations in St. George, Utah and Boise, Idaho. The company offers a comprehensive set of critical infrastructure products and services and is active in a fast-growing segment of the digital industry. The acquisition will enable Tonaquint to continue its growth, enhancing its existing facilities and expanding its service offering.

Tonaquint is mainly focusing on high growth smaller markets, which are not as well serviced by other major data center operators. It serves a well-diversified and growing client base in the technology, healthcare, financial services, and industrial sectors.

DIF data center operating advisor Michael DeVito will be joining the Tonaquint management team to further build out the company in North America.

Willem Jansonius, partner and Head of CIF at DIF Capital Partners, commented: “Given the rapid growth of the private cloud market, Tonaquint’s product offering is right where the opportunities are. Now and in the years to come. Our investment will enable Tonaquint to further build towards a leading North American data center platform. The acquisition fits DIF’s ambition to further grow in the digital infrastructure space in North America and beyond by investing in small to medium-sized businesses. That’s exactly why we already started expanding our capabilities and expertise in the sector a few years ago.”

Matt Hamlin, co-founder and CEO of Tonaquint said: “Working with the DIF team has been such a great experience. A very experienced team and a good strategic fit as they will be able to help our management team grow Tonaquint as we have envisioned in our overall business strategy. Our goals still remain the same: provide our customers with the best infrastructure and match it with the best client experience. That’s who we are.”

Philip Daley, co-founder and COO of Tonaquint added: “Tonaquint’s ability to build and maintain quality data centers and cloud services is now enhanced by DIF’s ability to bring additional capital and expertise in digital infrastructure. We look forward to expanding our footprint and services throughout the United States.”

Bank Street Group LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Tonaquint in connection with this transaction. Agentis Capital served as an exclusive financial advisor to DIF.

 

About Tonaquint

Tonaquint is a leading data center provider which operates two data center facilities in St. George, Utah and Boise, Idaho. Tonaquint was founded in 2008, and entered into the Boise market in 2020 with the acquisition of Fiberpipe Data Centers, Inc. The company provides data center services to over 250 customers across its two facilities. Tonaquint provides a robust product suite including colocation, cloud services (including secure and compliant hosting for infrastructure), disaster recovery, and backup as a service, as well as ancillary network and managed services. Tonaquint has achieved strong success within its existing markets, leveraging a sales strategy focused on developing local relationships to build to a longstanding customer base.

For more information please visit www.tonaquint.com.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with more than EUR 15 billion of AUM. DIF was founded in 2005 and has built a leading position in managing mid-market investments, primarily in Europe, North America and Australia.

DIF follows two strategies: its traditional DIF funds, of which DIF VII is the latest fund in the series, invest in lower risk mid-sized infrastructure projects and companies in the energy transition (incl. renewables) and utilities sector, as well as PPPs and concessions. The firm’s CIF funds invest in small to mid-sized companies that will thrive in the new economy. These companies are typically active in the digital, energy transition and sustainable transportation sector.

With a team of over 200 professionals in 11 offices, DIF Capital Partners offers a unique market approach combining global presence with the benefits of strong local networks and investment capabilities. DIF is located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto.

For more information please visit www.dif.eu.

 

Contact DIF: Diederik Heinink, d.heinink@dif.eu

19 December 2022  |  Schiphol

Congratulations to our 36 employees that have been promoted this year!

People have always been DIF’s greatest asset and the work our employees do doesn’t go unrecognised.

Join us in wishing them every success in their new role. This is the full list of this year’s promotions per grade. Congratulations to all of you!

Rhea Castelino CA Origination Associate
Claudia Harrington GB Asset Management Associate
Alexander Mend NL IT Associate
Foucault Monguillon FR Origination Associate
Josh Simpson CA Asset Management Associate
Samira Taarabti LU Finance Associate
Serhat Torbali LU Legal & Regulatory Associate
Jack Woodruff AU Asset Management Associate
Thomas van Agtmaal NL Origination Associate
Kees Arets NL Origination Associate Director
Gurpreet Badwal CA Origination Associate Director
Daniel Beri US Origination Associate Director
Marlon Berkhoff NL Finance Associate Director
Sybren Bruin NL Finance Associate Director
Amit Joshi GB Asset Management Associate Director
Stephanie Koning NL Finance Associate Director
William Alink NL IR & BD Director
George Craig CA Origination Director
Jonas Freise DE Origination Director
Annemiek Houben NL Legal & Regulatory Director
Bastien Zehntner FR Origination Director
Paul Adams NL IR & BD Managing Director
Luis Hinojosa CL Origination Managing Director
Mathieu Hévin FR Origination Managing Director
Kanan Joshi US Origination Managing Director
Aymeric Piquet-Gauthier FR Asset Management Managing Director
Roger Roumen NL Finance Managing Director
Thijs Verburg NL IR & BD Managing Director
Marissa Dardi GB Asset Management Senior Director
Karen Fluks NL Compliance Senior Director
Joeri Heijnen NL Finance Senior Director
Philip Newzella DE Asset Management Senior Director
Charlie Websper GB Origination Senior Director
María-José Crespo ES General Senior Management Assistant
Andrea Mueller DE General Senior Management Assistant
Sasha Roberts GB General Senior Management Assistant
13 December 2022  |  Schiphol

Infrastructure investors must see the wood for the trees when it comes to ESG impact | blog

There is no doubt that the environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts of infrastructure investments are of increasing interest to regulators, investors and civil society. That is good news, but it’s also important this impact is understood in a holistic way, telling the full story of the infrastructure project we fund.

Currently, much of the debate with LPs on ESG impact is focused on managing and minimising the adverse impacts that all infrastructure projects have. New rules such as the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulations (SFDR), rightly, demand transparency and accountability in areas such as reducing emissions, improving health and safety or decreasing biodiversity loss.

That is much needed, but focusing on the minimisation of harm also risks failing to see the wood for the trees.

Intrinsic benefits

For those who work in our sector the connection between infrastructure investment, economic growth and societal benefits is very clear.

The hospital and school investments we make improve health and enrich education. Fiber networks get thousands online to close the digital divide. Clean energy assets are laying the foundations for the low-carbon economy and roadbuilding enables millions of drivers to travel more quickly, safely and efficiently.

Across the world, infrastructure is helping in achieve the challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

So just as we should not solely use a traditional cost/benefit analysis to narrowly focus on just the financial viability of an asset; we should not use ESG analysis to solely focus on reducing harm. That risks overlooking the wider inherent benefits our sector creates.

Measuring positive outcomes

To address this challenge and showcase promising practices my firm, DIF Capital Partners, has worked with specialist sustainability consultants to develop an ‘Intrinsic Benefits Tool’.

The aim of the tool is to provide both a sector- and country-level analysis for each sector we invest in that identifies the intrinsic benefits an investment might provide.

It is based on impact metrics developed by UNEP-FI and its scores measure both positive and negative impacts that can be linked back to the SDGs. It also considers each country’s specific needs or issues. A school investment in a country lacking teaching capabilities, for instance, would score higher than a similar investment in a country with abundant education facilities.

For example, we used the tool when considering our investment in Airtower, a US wireless company providing the next generation wifi networks. It helped show how these networks enable first responders such as ambulance drivers to deal with emergencies, contributing to SDG 3 (Good Health & Well-being), build smart, sustainable cities (SDG 11) and use cloud migration to reduce the need for emissions-intensive local servers (SDG 13).

It provided a similar role for our investment in Greener, a market leader in mobile battery solutions in the Netherlands, showing that Greener contributes positively to SDG 9 (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), and SDG 13 (Climate action) by supplying clean energy and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

The tool is part of a holistic attempt to understand ESG risks and opportunities in our investment process which also includes a screening mechanism during pre-investment, and active monitoring and management of an investee’s potential negative impacts throughout our ownership.

A brighter infrastructure investing picture

We live in a world where megatrends such as digitisation, energy transition, urbanisation and consumption continue to foster demand for infrastructure investing. But it is also a world where projects must continuously report on their environmental and social impacts, and show they align with public policy goals such as the SDGs.

As the sector beds in systems and standards to allow that to happen we must strike an appropriate balance between how we are generating and reporting financial returns, the action we are taking to minimize negative impacts, but also the wider long-term public benefits that are being delivered by our hospitals, schools, networks and other infrastructure too.

Frank Siblesz is Head of ESG at DIF Capital Partners

25 November 2022  |  Frankfurt

DIF invests in large scale fibre rollout in Germany

DIF Capital Partners will acquire a majority stake in ruhrfibre, and fund the buildout of a large scale fibre network in Essen (Germany) targeting around 150,000 households. The project marks a shift in Germany, where the number of urban fibre connections is still low and rollout in larger cities to date has not been attracting substantial private investments. Alongside DIF, the company is formed by project developer metrofibre and the City of Essen.

With DIF, through its DIF CIF III fund, as funding partner, ruhrfibre commits to a large scale fibre rollout throughout Essen. The project is a game changer to the city in the industrial Ruhr-area in terms of its economic advancement and will accelerate Essen’s development into a smart city.

Currently, Germany ranks 34th in terms of fibre penetration with only four OECD countries having a lower rate. This is not just the situation in German rural areas, but also in urban areas like Essen, where currently only 5% of households have a fibre connection.

In Essen, ruhrfibre will develop, construct and operate an urban fibre-to-the-home network that is primarily focusing on connecting private households, as well as public and business customers to high-speed internet. Over the next few years, the company will roll out a network of more than 1,000 km of fibre in the city.

“We firmly believe in the importance of an improved digital infrastructure in the beating heart of the Ruhr-region and helping Essen to become a smart city. For us, it’s an investment that perfectly fits in our CIF fund strategy, which focuses on small to mid-market infrastructure investments, of which the digital infrastructure space is a priority sector,” says Willem Jansonius, partner and head of investments of CIF at DIF Capital Partners.

The completion of the acquisition is subject to antitrust approval.

Earlier this week, DIF announced the expansion of its digital infrastructure team in Europe.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with more than EUR 15 billion of AUM. DIF was founded in 2005 and has built a leading position in managing mid-market investments, primarily in Europe, North America and Australia.

DIF follows two strategies: its traditional DIF funds invest in lower risk mid-sized infrastructure projects and companies in the energy transition (incl. renewables) and utilities sector, as well as PPPs and concessions. The firm’s CIF funds invest in small to mid-sized companies that will thrive in the new economy. These companies are typically active in the digital, energy transition and sustainable transportation sector.

With a team of over 200 professionals in 11 offices, DIF Capital Partners offers a unique market approach combining global presence with the benefits of strong local networks and investment capabilities. DIF is located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto.

For more information please visit www.dif.eu.

 

Contact DIF: Diederik Heinink, d.heinink@dif.eu

24 November 2022  |  Schiphol

Annual DIF ESG event: net zero and cyber security

“How Finland moves to sustainable heating” and “Why ransomware gangs gain access to your company on a Friday afternoon”.

These were just some of the fascinating topics discussed during our engaging and thought-provoking annual DIF ESG Event. It was held in hybrid format on 22nd November 2022, with an audience of just under 200 people.

A well-diversified mix of management teams, investee companies and DIF employees joining either in-person or via livestream. The event covered two important ESG themes: net zero and cyber security.

A big thank you to our exceptional external speakers: Simon Mundy (FT Journalist and author of “The Race for Tomorrow”), Matti Tynjala (CEO, Loimua Oy), Erik Westhovens (Cyber Security Expert and author of “13.Ransomwared”) and to our own ESG Team: Angela Roshier, Frank Siblesz and Hanah Chang for putting together such an insightful event.

22 November 2022  |  London

DIF strengthens digital infrastructure team with two senior hires

DIF Capital Partners has expanded the European team to support its growth and ambitions in the digital infrastructure space. Digital assets are one of the key focus areas of DIF’s CIF fund strategy, headed by Willem Jansonius.

On 1 November, Simon Rozas started as Head of European Digital Infrastructure based in London. Simon will be supported by Jan Angenendt, who joined DIF as a Director in Frankfurt in October.

Simon will lead the origination and investments in digital infrastructure across Europe. Previously, he worked at Cube Infrastructure Managers, where he led greenfield fiber projects across Europe for the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund. Simon’s career includes over two decades of experience in investing, lending and investment banking at the EBRD, Citigroup and HSBC. He started his studies in Vilnius University and holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Economics and Finance from Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

Jan joined DIF from InfraRed Capital Partners, where he covered origination in the DACH region, including digital infrastructure projects. Prior to that, Jan worked as a senior associate for KPMG Corporate Finance, as a policy advisor at HM Treasury and as a UK government economist. He holds Master’s degrees in Economics from the University of Warwick and the Free University of Berlin.

Willem Jansonius, partner and Head of CIF at DIF Capital Partners says: “I’m delighted with the appointment of Simon and Jan. This further boosts the strength of our digital infrastructure team in Europe, which is an area where DIF is quickly expanding its footprint and sees ample room for growth. I am looking forward to working closely together with our new team members and am confident that our investors and the companies we invest in will benefit from the team’s enhanced capabilities.”

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with more than EUR 15 billion of AUM. DIF was founded in 2005 and has built a leading position in managing mid-market investments, primarily in Europe, North America and Australia.

DIF follows two strategies: its traditional DIF funds invest in lower risk mid-sized infrastructure projects and companies in the energy transition (incl. renewables) and utilities sector, as well as PPPs and concessions. The firm’s CIF funds invest in small to mid-sized companies that will thrive in the new economy. These companies are typically active in the digital, energy transition and sustainable transportation sector.

With a team of over 200 professionals in 11 offices, DIF Capital Partners offers a unique market approach combining global presence with the benefits of strong local networks and investment capabilities. DIF is located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto.

For more information please visit www.dif.eu.

Contact: Diederik Heinink, d.heinink@dif.eu

10 November 2022  |  Schiphol

COP27: our commitment to net zero

The world is gathering in Sharm El-Sheikh for COP27 to discuss climate change and it has probably never felt as urgent as it does now. At the same time, a lot has happened already and important steps are being taken.

DIF Capital Partners joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative in 2021 and we committed our firm to being a net zero investor by 2050 or sooner.

But, we wanted to stretch this ambition. So we’ve set an interim target of 70% of our AUM to be aligning with net zero by 2030. We have already started collecting our portfolio’s carbon footprint and are developing decarbonisation plans for individual investments.

The title of our recently published 2022 ESG-report is ‘Accelerating the transition’. That’s not just a title. It is what we truly stand for and what we’re putting a lot of effort in every day.

Download our ESG report here.

9 November 2022  |  London

DIF invests EUR 150 million in Nordic solar developer Alight

DIF Capital Partners will acquire a majority stake in Stockholm-headquartered Alight, a leading developer of subsidy-free solar projects in the Nordics. The agreement includes an investment of EUR 150 million and a secondary buy-out of a number of existing shareholders. With the capital raised, Alight will accelerate the buildout of its near term pipeline of solar projects.

The company will do so by building out and retaining ownership of projects going forward and aiding the transition into an independent power producer. Alight built its foundation in the Nordic solar market by offering solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) to major commercial and industrial (C&I) power users, and has developed several of Sweden’s largest solar parks in addition to delivering multiple onsite solar solutions. The investment will enable Alight to accelerate its build-out of new solar projects in the Nordics and more broadly across Europe.

Commenting on the investment, Alight CEO Dr Harald Overholm said: “I am proud of Alight’s journey so far and this investment will accelerate our leadership in the subsidy-free solar build-out. Our delivery of solar-as-a-service to major power users makes us a natural partner to companies of all sizes and industries. We are excited to work closely with DIF on progressing the corporate transition to renewables; they share our vision for the industry and the urgency of our work to accelerate the energy transition. Corporate power usage accounts for up to 70% of global electricity consumption, so making a prompt and effective shift to renewable energy is crucial. Solar remains the cheapest and quickest energy source to scale, so building more to deliver energy security and reduce emissions is crucial.”

Nine years on from its founding in 2013, Alight is now a leader in Europe’s commercial solar roll-out through its subsidy-free approach to solar PPAs. In its native Nordics, Alight has over 1 GW pipeline of projects under development, much of which will be built out within the next 24 months. Alight also has an additional 170 MW pipeline under development across Europe.

Commenting on their investment in Alight, Gijs Voskuyl, Partner of DIF and Head of Investments for DIF Infrastructure VII, said: “We have been impressed by Alight’s track record as a first mover in the growing Nordic solar market, in addition to their top quality customer-led approach to winning long-term solar contracts. We also share Alight’s vision on how to accelerate the energy transition in Europe and more specifically for their C&I customers, whilst also providing them with energy security at low cost in the current high power price environment. Alight’s team and outlook are a strong foundation to build upon and we are pleased to take this step, enabling Alight to realise its growth ambitions.”

Having set an initial target to build 1 GW of solar assets by 2025, Alight now aims to have 5 GW of PPA-backed solar projects delivered across the Nordics and Europe by 2030. Alight’s PPAs protect major power users from price surges by offering fixed prices on 10-20 year contracts. Alight is also leading the Swedish market roll out of co-located battery storage, a key component of ensuring that grid stability copes with the solar roll-out.

In October this year, Alight announced Sweden’s largest co-located solar-plus-storage plant to be completed in December at a 12 MW solar park in Linköping. Alight developed and operates Sweden’s largest operational solar park, an 18 MW asset developed for Martin & Servera in Skurup. The company aims to bring forward co-location storage on future projects and retrofit existing assets to include storage.

Alight was advised by Newsec Infra (financial) and Mannheimer Swartling (legal adviser). DIF was advised by Augusta & Co (financial) and DLA Piper (legal).

 

About Alight
Alight is a leading Nordic solar developer and Independent Power Producer, co-founded in 2013 by Dr Harald Overholm, Richard Nicolin and Wilhelm Lowenhielm to usher in a new era of solar power to businesses seeking to go greener. With an entirely subsidy-free business model, Alight develops and operates solar projects, onsite and offsite, across Europe. By 2030 Alight is set to have an installed capacity of at least 5 GW backed with solar PPA contracts. Alight is the leading solar PPA provider in the Nordics – with customers including Swedbank, Nolato, Kingspan and Toyota – and is developing more than 1 GW of PPA-based projects across Sweden, with a further 170 MW under development across the rest of Europe. In 2021, Alight joined the United Nations Global Compact as part of its support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is a leading global independent investment manager, with more than EUR 14 billion in assets under management across eleven closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF invests in infrastructure companies and assets located primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Australia through two complementary strategies:

  • Traditional DIF funds, of which DIF Infrastructure VII is the latest vintage, target core infrastructure equity investments with long-term contracted or regulated income streams including public-private partnerships, concessions, utilities, and energy transition projects (incl. renewable energy).
  • DIF CIF funds, of which DIF CIF III is the latest vintage, target equity investments in small to mid-sized core-plus infrastructure companies in the telecom, energy transition, and transportation sectors.

DIF Capital Partners has a team of over 200 professionals, based in eleven offices located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney, and Toronto. For more information please visit www.dif.eu.

 

Contact: Diederik Heinink, d.heinink@dif.eu

1 November 2022  |  Schiphol

DIF appoints three partners

DIF Capital Partners is pleased to announce the appointment of three partners, Zaina Ahmed-Karim, Tom Goossens and Vincent Liu.

The promotion of Tom and Vincent from managing director to partner is in response to their personal contributions to the strong development of the firm. Tom and Vincent, who joined DIF in 2014 and 2016 respectively, have been leading several landmark investments over the years and have played a key role in further building the presence of DIF in their respective markets. Tom has been covering the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, Vincent North America.

Zaina joined DIF on the 1st of September to succeed Robert Doekes as CFO. She will be responsible for finance and investor reporting, as well as tax, treasury, IT and operations. Zaina was previously CFO of Dasym, an investment management boutique firm. Prior to that, she spent 25 years at EY, of which 13 years as senior audit partner in the Financial Services group. She is a qualified chartered accountant and holds a Master’s degree in both Business Economics and Accountancy from the VU Amsterdam University, the Netherlands.

Robert Doekes retired as a partner after 13 years in his role as CFO. DIF is pleased to be able to continue to benefit from his experience and knowledge, given that he will stay active for DIF in several projects and advisory roles.

Managing partner Wim Blaasse said, “”We are very pleased to welcome Zaina, Tom and Vincent as partners of DIF. Zaina has now officially taken over the role of Robert as CFO. I’m confident her longstanding background and experience will be of great added value to DIF. At the same time, her appointment will further increase the diversity of our senior leadership team. We would like to express deep gratitude to Robert for his commitment and contribution to building a strong investment platform over the last 13 years. Tom and Vincent have already contributed substantially to where we are today and I am confident they will continue to play a crucial role in achieving the future success of the company.”

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is a leading global independent investment manager, with ca. EUR 14 billion in assets under management across eleven closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF invests in infrastructure companies and assets located primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Australia through two complementary strategies:

  • Traditional DIF funds, of which DIF Infrastructure VII is the latest vintage, target core infrastructure equity investments with long-term contracted or regulated income streams including public-private partnerships, concessions, utilities, and energy transition projects (incl. renewable energy).
  • DIF CIF funds, of which DIF CIF III is the latest vintage, target equity investments in small to mid-sized core-plus infrastructure companies in the telecom, energy transition, and transportation sectors.

DIF Capital Partners has a team of over 200 professionals, based in eleven offices located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney, and Toronto. For more information please visit www.dif.eu.

Contact DIF: Diederik Heinink, d.heinink@dif.eu

20 October 2022  |  Frankfurt

DIF partners with Deutsche Bahn on public transport concession in Germany

DIF Capital Partners is pleased to announce that it has signed a sale and lease back agreement regarding the acquisition of 29 new-build and electrical multiple-unit trains with DB Regio AG, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG. The investment will be made through DIF Infrastructure VI fund. MEAG acted as exclusive arranger for the senior debt financing.

DB Regio will sell 29 multiple-unit trains (Coradia Stream HC series), manufactured by Alstom Transport Deutschland, to DIF and lease them via an initial 15-year term to operate the “Kinzigtal” concession. This will connect the German cities Frankfurt am Main, Hanau, Fulda, Bebra as well as Wächtersbach.

Gijs Voskuyl, Partner and Head of Investments for the DIF VI strategy : “DIF is pleased to partner with Deutsche Bahn and our project lender MEAG on this project. Our investment is a component of a wider plan to extend and modernise the public transport services around Frankfurt. The aim is to make it more attractive, by contributing to the customer satisfaction as well as to increase sustainability of – especially – commuter transport from the suburbs to the city center.”

Benjamin Hemming, Head of Infrastructure Debt at MEAG, adds: “We are very pleased to make an important contribution to the modernisation of public transport in Germany with our exclusive debt arrangement for the Kinzigtal network. The new trains which will operate on the line will not only make commuting by train more convenient, but will also contribute to reducing emissions. With this innovative private placement we enable our institutional clients to participate in a long-term and sustainable financing at attractive terms.”

DIF was advised by Herbert Smith Freehills (legal), railistics (technical and commercial), Mazars (model audit and tax), ReedSmith and Loyens & Loeff (tax), Euro transaction Solutions (insurance) and Northrail (transaction structuring as well as long term asset management provider).

(Picture: © Alstom Advanced Design & Styling)

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is a leading global independent investment manager, with ca. EUR 14 billion in assets under management across eleven closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF invests in infrastructure companies and assets located primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Australia through two complementary strategies:

  • Traditional DIF funds, of which DIF Infrastructure VII is the latest vintage, target core infrastructure equity investments with long-term contracted or regulated income streams including public-private partnerships, concessions, utilities, and energy transition projects (incl. renewable energy).
  • DIF CIF funds, of which DIF CIF III is the latest vintage, target equity investments in small to mid-sized core-plus infrastructure companies in the telecom, energy transition, and transportation sectors.

DIF Capital Partners has a team of over 200 professionals, based in eleven offices located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney, and Toronto. For more information please visit www.dif.eu.

Contact DIF: Diederik Heinink, d.heinink@dif.eu

17 October 2022  |  

Getting up to net-zero speed

When DIF became a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers (“NZAM”) initiative in 2021, we put a dot on the horizon. But it is clear we must put our foot on the accelerator if we – and the wider infrastructure sector – are to reach that horizon before too much damage is done to our planet or our portfolio investments.

The race to transition to a low carbon economy has never felt more urgent. Over the last five years, 21% of our portfolio investments surveyed on our bespoke ESG engagement process ‘ESG Path’ responded they have been affected by extreme weather events, such as wildfires and flooding although financial impact of such events has not yet been material.

The world’s dependence on Russian oil and gas in recent months has further heightened the need to develop a diversified set of alternative energy sources and capabilities for resilient energy system of the future.

But the net-zero transition doesn’t mean flipping a green switch or investing only in companies that are already green. It means bringing significant capital and deep operational expertise to bear on infrastructure that can form the basis of a Net Zero future.

What is DIF doing?

One year on from our net zero commitment, we are putting a strong focus on pragmatism, transparency and “doing what we say we are going to do”.

We focus on delivering targets, tools, strategy and planning for each of our portfolio investments that will take us as rapidly as possible to that dot on the horizon.

Providing targets and tools

We are not just setting targets for the distant future of 2050. This month, as part of our NZAM commitments, we have published an interim target for 70% of our assets under management to be aligning with net zero by 2030.

This means that in just over seven years, the vast majority of our portfolio companies will have set their own decarbonisation path to Net Zero, will disclose GHG emissions and have clear allocated management responsibility for their reduction pathways.

This is no easy task, so DIF is providing specialist tools and guidance required. For example, there was a 150% increase in the portfolio companies using our greenhouse gas emissions tool to calculate their carbon footprint last year.

Evolving our investment strategy

To reach our Net Zero horizon, we are evolving a broader approach to sustainable infrastructure that invests not only in real assets, but also in those companies along the value chain accelerating the transition to a net zero and more connected economy.

Our new DIF VII and CIF III funds are good examples of this, as they focus on sectors such as energy transition and digitisation.

We see significant amounts of institutional capital flow into those sectors, demonstrating a maturity that is key to achieving the scale and pace needed to build a net zero economy.

Preparing for the rocky road ahead

The next step after setting the interim target for 2030 is to develop Net Zero business plans with each of our portfolio companies.

These business plans must be based on science and must have both management and shareholder support in order to be credible. These are challenges the entire infrastructure sector must confront.

It may not be a smooth road, but we cannot dally. As the impacts of climate change continue to grow, we must get up to speed quickly to manage the risks and seize the opportunities it presents.

Frank Siblesz, Head of ESG