NEW YORK, Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ClearBridge Investments announced today that it has launched a new open-end energy MLP and infrastructure fund targeted to investors that are seeking the potential for long term growth and total return by owning energy infrastructure assets. The Fund seeks income and capital appreciation through investments in Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) and other energy infrastructure securities that may benefit from the ongoing development of U.S. shale formations. The strategy seeks companies with strong balance sheets and the ability to make accretive acquisitions, and businesses with favorable geographic footprints, real assets and target markets. Structured as a Registered Investment Company (RIC), the fund can pass capital gains, dividends, and interest earned on fund investments directly to its shareholders, eliminating double taxation on gains. "The U.S. has been moving toward oil and gas independence. The demand for energy has the potential to grow as a result of demographic changes and moderate economic growth. We believe North America is well positioned to meet that demand as oil and natural gas production increases," stated Chris Eades, Portfolio Manager and Director of Research for ClearBridge Investments, LLC. "As the infrastructure in the U.S. is built and monetized, there is a potential multi-decade period of oil and gas production growth. With this fund structure, we have the ability to invest in a wide variety of securities across the energy sector, which can provide us with a number of attractive opportunities." Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its assets in energy infrastructure securities through direct exposure to MLPs, indirect exposure through the equity securities of general partners of MLPs, and equity securities of companies that are building or maintaining services throughout the energy delivery supply chain. The investment guidelines provide for the fund to invest up to 25% in direct MLP exposure, up to 50% in non-US exposure as opportunities warrant, up to 20% in options strategies, and 20% in fixed income exposure. When conditions warrant it, the fund may invest in Exchange Traded Funds,or Exchange Traded Notes with energy themes, convertible securities, and corporate debt.