Macfarlanes advises Ancala on sale of minority stake to Vontobel to support expansion plans

Macfarlanes has advised long-standing client Ancala, the leading independent infrastructure manager, on the sale of a minority stake to Vontobel, a listed global investment manager, to accelerate its growth plans.

Ancala has deployed a consistent strategy since it was founded in 2010, delivering enhanced returns from investments with traditional infrastructure characteristics. The infrastructure manager’s differentiated approach focuses on sourcing bilateral investment opportunities, providing downside protection, inflation-linkage and cash yield, and delivering a unique approach to creating sustainable value within its portfolio companies.

Ancala has total AUM of more than €4bn and manages 18 assets operating in essential infrastructure sectors including renewable energy and energy transition, transport, utilities and the circular economy.

Vontobel is a global investment firm with Swiss roots. It specialises in wealth management, active asset management and investment solutions. As of 30 September 2023, Vontobel held CHF 268.1bn (€313.1bn) of total client assets.

The investment will help Ancala to continue its proven strategy of delivering enhanced returns from critical infrastructure assets. 

Ancala will continue to be run independently by its management team, led by Managing Partner Spence Clunie, and will retain full independence over its investment and governance processes. 

Macfarlanes recently advised Ancala on the final close of its third flagship co-mingled fund, its largest ever individual fundraise. The fund closed with a total of €1.4bn in commitments, surpassing its €1.2bn target. Over the past year, Ancala has also raised £551m for its Growth Fund, completed six investments with a total enterprise value of more than €700m and grew its headcount by more than 20%. 

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the third quarter of 2024.  

The Macfarlanes team was led by corporate and M&A partner Jessica Adam with assistance from senior counsel Lauren Bretton, senior associates Alice Temkin and Andrew Wheelhouse, and associate Charlotte Cato. The team also included private funds partner Stephen Robinson and senior associate Sweta Tandle. Tax advice was provided by senior advisor Mark Baldwin and associate Jack Slater and competition advice was provided by partner Richard Pepper and senior associate Andrew Morrison. Financial services regulation advice was provided by partner Michael Sholem and senior associate Rachael Preston