Infrastructure Investor Awards 2020: North America

Regional awards from institutional investor of the year to fund manager of the year to digital infrastructure deal of the year.

On the right track: Brookfield invested heavily in the region’s railroad infra in 2020

Fund Manager of the Year

WINNER: Brookfield Asset Management

SECOND PLACE: Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners
THIRD PLACE: Global Infrastructure Partners

Brookfield amassed $20 billion for its latest infrastructure fund, with 40 percent of the capital earmarked for North America. The firm also had a busy year for dealmaking in the region, including its $8.4 billion Genesee & Wyoming take-private. The deal involved the acquisition of 120 short-line railroads, as well as providing transportation infrastructure services to more than 26,000 kilometres of track.

Equity Fundraising of the Year

WINNER: Global Infrastructure Partners

SECOND PLACE: Brookfield Asset Management
THIRD PLACE: BlackRock

Global Infrastructure Partners held a final close on a $22 billion fund, surpassing its $20 billion target and making it the largest infrastructure vehicle ever raised. The fund had a significant contingent of North American investors, including the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

Deal of the Year

WINNER: Zayo Group Holdings (Digital Colony, EQT)

SECOND PLACE: Pattern Energy
THIRD PLACE: Genesee & Wyoming

With a price tag of $14.3 billion, Digital Colony and EQT’s take-private of bandwidth infrastructure provider Zayo Group Holdings was one of the biggest deals of the year. Zayo boasts over 133,000 route miles of fibre, with products including dark fibre, private data networks, wavelengths, ethernet, dedicated internet access and co-location services. The company had rejected a number of earlier offers from private equity and infrastructure managers.

Keeping the lights on: Meridiam and Engie PPP with the University of Iowa will drive the campus’s clean energy agenda

Energy Deal of the Year

WINNER: University of Iowa PPP (Meridiam, ENGIE)

SECOND PLACE: Cheniere Energy Partners
THIRD PLACE: Vicinity Energy

The University of Iowa signed a 50-year public-private partnership with French firm Meridiam and electric utility company ENGIE to clean up and overhaul how its campus keeps the lights on. Under the terms of the agreement, the university aims to become coal free by 2025, if not sooner. Students, faculty and staff will also have opportunities to benefit from experiential learning via internships, projects and research opportunities in energy.

Renewables Deal of the Year

WINNER: Eland Solar and Storage Center (Capital Dynamics)

SECOND PLACE: NextEra Energy
THIRD PLACE: 250MW Galloway Solar Project

Capital Dynamics formed a partnership with US solar developer 8minute Solar Energy to develop a 400MW photovoltaic plant in California, which includes a large-scale battery storage facility. The Eland Solar and Storage Center has secured a long-term PPA serving the needs of The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, with the goal of starting operations in 2022 and reaching full capabilities in 2023.

Digital Infrastructure Deal of the Year

WINNER: Zayo Group Holdings (Digital Colony, EQT)

SECOND PLACE: Washington, DC data centres
THIRD PLACE: Xplornet Communications

Digital Colony and EQT’s massive take-private of Zayo Group Holdings comes out on top in this category. In addition to its extensive fibre network, Zayo Group owns 51 data centres across North America and Europe. Digital Colony and EQT paid a 32 percent premium to Zayo’s average share price in the six months prior to the deal. Equinix’s $200 million investment in two new data centres in the Washington, DC area earns the firm a second-place finish.

Energy Investor of the Year

WINNER: Antin Infrastructure Partners

SECOND PLACE: BlackRock
THIRD PLACE: Meridiam

Antin completed the $1.25 billion purchase of district energy assets in 10 US cities from Veolia Environnement last year. The business supplies a wide range of customers including commercial premises, government, universities, hospitals, hotels and manufacturing facilities, with many of its key clients dating back more than 60 years. Antin will work with the company to achieve network densification, project development in existing and new areas, as well as supporting acquisitions.

Powered by PV: solar projects in North America have been a focus area for Capital Dynamics

Renewables Investor of the Year

WINNER: Capital Dynamics

SECOND PLACE: CPPIB
THIRD PLACE: KKR

As well as breaking ground on a 400MW Californian solar farm, renewables stalwart Capital Dynamics also achieved a financial close on the 383MW Eagle Shadow Mountain solar project and acquired three photovoltaic projects from LS Power. Other noteworthy achievements include the acquisition of the Puerto Real 1 Solar Project, as well as a 353MW solar portfolio from Coronal Energy.

AMP backs EV: the investor entered into a JV with Enel X to develop US-wide electric mass transportation

Transport Investor of the Year

WINNER: AMP Capital

SECOND PLACE: Brookfield Asset Management
THIRD PLACE: Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners

AMP Capital partnered with global energy company Enel X to invest in electric public transportation across the Americas in 2020. AMP holds an 80 percent controlling interest in the joint venture, which will invest in the development and leasing of vehicles for electric ground mass transport, as well as the associated infrastructure for the vehicles’ storage, charging, repair and operations.

Digital Infrastructure Investor of the Year

WINNER: Digital Colony

SECOND PLACE: EQT
THIRD PLACE: Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners

In addition to its acquisition of Zayo Group Holdings alongside runner up EQT, Digital Colony acquired zColo’s US and UK data centre assets last year, further enhancing its position as one of the world’s largest data centre operators. Indeed, as the world wakes up to the importance of digital infrastructure, Digital Colony already owns almost 100 data centres, as well as 350,000 wireless towers and small-cell sites, and more than 135,000 miles of fibre.