Infrastructure Investor Awards 2020: Asia-Pacific

KKR was the main winner in the region, picking up six awards.

View from the top: KKR picks up top place in six categories for its activities in Asia-Pacific

Fund Manager of the Year


SECOND PLACE: I Squared Capital
THIRD PLACE: Brookfield Asset Management

Continuing its award-winning streak this year, KKR has also had a busy 12 months in Asia-Pacific, completing a string of deals in multiple sectors and countries and continuing to build on existing assets such as IndiGrid. Meanwhile, the firm amassed $3.9 billion for its inaugural dedicated Asia-Pacific infrastructure fund, which held a final close in January 2021. The fund will invest in both emerging and developed markets in sectors including renewables, utilities and transport.

Equity Fundraising of the Year

WINNER: Brookfield Asset Management

SECOND PLACE: Pacific Equity Partners
THIRD PLACE: Morrison & Co

Brookfield raised $20 billion for its latest infrastructure fund in 2020. Talking to Infrastructure Investor last February, the head of the firm’s infrastructure group, Sam Pollock, described it as the largest fund Brookfield had ever raised “across the asset classes”. Around a quarter of that capital came from Asia-Pacific investors, with around three-quarters stemming from existing LPs. The fund exceeded its original $17 billion target and is significantly larger than its predecessor, which closed on $14 billion in 2016. It will be invested globally, with deals already completed in India and New Zealand.

Deal of the Year

WINNER: TSK Corporation (KKR)

SECOND PLACE: Murra Warra Wind Farm II
THIRD PLACE: Summit Digitel Infrastructure

Continuing its push into Asia-Pacific, KKR acquired a minority stake in South Korean environmental services provider TSK Corporation in October. TSK provides waste management, water treatment and landfill services. The deal followed hot on the heels of other waste management transactions completed by the firm in the region. The second-stage acquisition of Murra Warra Wind Farm, one of the largest in Australia, earns Partners Group second place in this category while Brookfield’s purchase of a telecoms company in India, one of the biggest deals globally in 2020, sees it coming in third.

Energy Deal of the Year

WINNER: First Gen (KKR)

SECOND PLACE: Zenith Energy
THIRD PLACE: Transgrid

KKR acquired an 11.9 percent stake in First Gen, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers. First Gen generates power from sources including natural gas, geothermal energy, hydroelectricity, wind and solar. The company accounted for 21 percent of domestic electricity production in 2019 and has partnered with Tokyo Gas on plans to build the country’s first liquefied natural gas terminals on the island of Luzon.

Renewables Deal of the Year

WINNER: Murra Warra Wind Farm II (Partners Group)

SECOND PLACE: New Green Power
THIRD PLACE: Australian Renewable Energy Trust

Partners Group invested more than A$100 million ($77 million; €63 million) to acquire and construct the second stage of Murra Warra Wind Farm in Australia. The project will comprise 35 turbines with a total capacity of 209MW located next to existing asset Murra Warra I. Once completed, the plant will generate enough clean energy to power 150,000 Australian households and offset more than 468,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Digital Infrastructure Deal of the Year

WINNER: Pinnacle Towers (KKR)

SECOND PLACE: Lightstorm Telecom
THIRD PLACE: Summit Digitel Infrastructure

Adding to its winning streak in Asia-Pacific, KKR has claimed Digital Infrastructure Deal of the Year for its investment in Pinnacle Towers. The aim is to expand the Philippines’ telecom infrastructure at a time when the country’s mobile users are increasingly demanding reliable, data-rich, high-speed, affordable connectivity. Pinnacle specialises in build-to-suit tower projects, providing operators with capital-efficient solutions to rapidly expand their coverage.

Energy Investor of the Year


SECOND PLACE: Pacific Equity Partners

KKR has completed several major energy deals in Asia this year, including its investment in Filipino power producer First Gen, which has won the award for Energy Deal of the Year. Elsewhere, the firm has established renewable energy platform Virescent Infrastructure to help India achieve its ambition to install 175GW of renewables capacity by 2022 and 450GW by 2030.

Renewables Investor of the Year

WINNER: Partners Group

SECOND PLACE: Macquarie’s Green Investment Group

Partners Group has been one of the most active investors in Australian renewable energy in recent years, a trend that continued in 2020, notwithstanding the perceived challenges posed by policy settings in that market. Most notably, the firm completed the second stage of the Murra Warra Wind Farm, which has already entered into a long-term PPA with government-owned electricity company Snowy Hydro.

Taking the toll road: I Squared now has the largest privately owned portfolio in India

Transport Investor of the Year

WINNER: I Squared Capital


I Squared Capital’s Cube Highways platform has grown into the largest portfolio of privately-owned toll roads in India. Last year, the firm acquired 12 new roads, taking the platform to 27 assets covering 8,400 kilometres. Deals in 2020 included the acquisition of Chennai-Nashri Tunnelway, the largest road tunnel in the country, as well as DA Toll Road Private, a six-lane toll road connecting Delhi with Agra.

Digital Infrastructure Investor of the Year


SECOND PLACE: I Squared Capital
THIRD PLACE: Brookfield Asset Management

Competition for Digital Infrastructure Investor of the Year was fierce, with I Squared Capital’s creation of a new fibre platform in South-East Asia, LightStorm Telecom, bringing the firm in at a close second. But KKR’s bold investment in Filipino Pinnacle Towers is a continuation of the firm’s relentless push into the region and was enough to seal first place.