AVAIO launches inaugural $1bn infra fund after spinout from AECOM – exclusive

Firm hopes to hold first close on debut mid-market fund ‘by end of 2019’.

Infrastructure Investor has learned that AVAIO Capital launched its inaugural infrastructure fund last month and is targeting $1 billion in commitments from institutional investors.

According to a source familiar with the matter, partners in the New York-based firm – including Mark McComiskey and Anthony Gordon, who spun AVAIO out of engineering giant AECOM – are pitching a “build-to-core” mid-market strategy to investors in Asia, Europe and North America.

The source said the fund would deploy around two thirds of its capital in North America, with target returns in line with “value-added expectations”, and plans to hold its first close by the end of 2019. AVAIO declined to comment for this story.

The firm was launched earlier this year after McComiskey, Gordon and a yet-to-be-announced third senior partner spun out the business from AECOM’s financing arm, which was dedicated to infrastructure. Its strategy is to invest in the construction of new infrastructure projects and to redevelop existing ones. Investments will focus on water, transport, digital and low-carbon assets.

The firm has maintained an agreement with AECOM whereby the engineering company will offer AVAIO deals that require investment while providing the asset manager with technical support on projects.

AVAIO’s portfolio currently consists of an investment in a liquefied natural gas plant on the west coast of Mexico. This was purchased before the firm was spun out from AECOM.