infrastructure

Danish investors kickstart $1bn Africa fund

Friday, 11 Aug 2017

A group of Danish pension fund investors have committed $550m to African infrastructure through a fund launched by the family foundation behind the country's iconic shipping business, Maersk.

PensionDanmark, PKA and Lægernes Pension, three of the Nordic nation's largest retirement schemes, have become the founding investors in the Africa fund, which has a target of raising $1bn over the next 12 months.

The fund will be run by a newly-formed team within AP Møller Holding, which is the investment arm of the AP Møller Fund, the family foundation of the founders of Maersk. The Dkr122m (€16bn) foundation established AP Møller Holding in 2013 to invest in businesses that "have a positive impact on society", according to its chief executive, Robert Mærsk Uggla.

In a statement accompanying the fund launch this morning, Uggla said: "Africa, with a working-age population likely to reach more than one billion people in the next decades, has a pressing requirement for more investments in infrastructure."

The new fund will focus on investments in Africa's transport and energy infrastructure. It is run by a team led by Kim Fejfer, the former chief executive of Maersk's container-terminals division, APM Terminals.

Peter Damgaard Jensen, the chief executive at PKA, said that his organisation has had "positive experiences investing in Africa, and we have for a long time wanted to invest more on the continent".

Torben Möger Pedersen, the chief executive of PensionDanmark, said AP Møller had "extensive investment experience" and "a promising pipeline of potential investment projects".

Jensen and Pedersen added that the fact that Africa investment was "in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals" was a further draw.

The AP Møller Fund, established by Maerk's founder Arnold Peter Møller in 1953, owns a 41.5% stake in the shipping group and a 20% stake in Denmark's biggest bank, Danske Bank.

Credits: Mark Cobley/Financial News London