2010 saw ‘strong rebound’ for infrastructure fundraising

With a further $2.9bn raised in the fourth quarter, global infrastructure fundraising reached a full-year total of $19.0bn in 2010. This made it the third-most-prolific year after the peak years of 2007 and 2008 and represents a solid recovery from the big decline seen in 2009.

Global infrastructure fundraising totalled $19.0 billion in 2010, almost double the $10.7 billion raised the previous year. The total also surpassed the $17.9 billion raised in 2006, and is only bettered by the market peak totals of $39.7 billion and $24.7 billion raised in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Probitas Partners, the San Francisco-based placement agent which produced the survey, described the 2010 figure as representing a “strong rebound” from the 2009 post-Crisis slump.

However, the $2.9 billion raised in the fourth quarter of 2010 was the lowest quarterly amount during the year. The first and third quarters had each seen around $6 billion colllected, and the second quarter approximately $4 billion.

Probitas reports that 79 percent of total funds raised in 2010 were by funds focused on North America or Europe, or global funds with heavy allocations to those markets. The largest interest was in funds pursuing both brownfield and greenfield opportunities, though these funds tended to have more of a brownfield bias.

The largest infrastructure fundraising of the year was that conducted by Energy Capital Partners’ Energy Capital II fund, which raised $2.25 billion during 2010 for a fund which closed ahead of its $3.5 billion target on $4.0 billion. The next four largest fundraisings during the year were: Brookfield Americas Infrastructure Fund ($1.6 billion); GS Infrastructure Partners II ($1.1 billion); Marguerite Fund (€750 million); and Highstar Capital IV ($750 million).

Probitas notes that there are currently 95 infrastructure funds in the market or coming to market, which are seeking over $75 billion in commitments. For the first time, a significant number of these are debt and mezzanine funds which are being launched to address a perceived shortage of debt financing.