Meet the winners of our 9th Global Awards

GIP, I Squared and Meridiam were among the big winners in our latest awards, which doled out 51 trophies.

Welcome to the ninth edition of Infrastructure Investor‘s Global Awards! As most of you know by now, the industry’s premier awards are, well, very much decided by you, the industry, following a month-long voting process based on shortlists drawn by Infrastructure Investor‘s editorial team.

The results – all 51 of them – are outlined below. To help you scroll through this rather long list, we’ve broken our winners down by six regional categories. You can navigate to each of the six regional hubs using the table below. Each hub has a list of all the relevant winners and you can click on the links to navigate to the relevant descriptions or jump to another regional hub.

Find your region 
Global16 categories
Europe9 categories
North America9 categories
Latin America4 categories
Asia-Pacific9 categories
Middle East & Africa4 categories

Of course, if you are not averse to felling a few trees and would rather read all of this on paper, you can download a PDF version here.

Happy reading!


Global

CategoryWinner
Personality of the YearJustin Trudeau (Canadian prime minister) 
Fund manager of the yearGlobal Infrastructure Partners
Institutional Investor of the YearOntario Teachers’ Pension Plan 
Equity Fundraising of the YearGlobal Infrastructure Partners
Debt Fundraising of the YearMizuho Global Alternative Investments 
Institutional Debt Provider of the YearAllianz Global Investors 
Deal of the YearHutchison Global Communications (I Squared Capital) 
PPP Deal of the YearI-66 Outside the Beltway (Cintra, Meridiam, John Laing, APG)
Placement Agent of the YearEvercore Private Funds Group
Developer of the YearVINCI
Energy Investor of the YearGlobal Infrastructure Partners
Transport Investor of the YearMeridiam
Telecoms and Broadband Investor of the YearKKR
Bank of the YearBNP Paribas
Law firm of the yearHerbert Smith Freehills
Corporate Trust Services ProviderDeutsche Bank Corporate Trust

Jump to: Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa


Personality of the Year, Global

  1. Justin Trudeau (Canadian prime minister) 
  2. Adebayo Ogunlesi (Global Infrastructure Partners)
  3. Jim Barry (BlackRock Real Assets)
Trudeau: Thrilled at winning our Personality of the Year award

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau probably knows just how popular he is with large swaths of the world’s population, but we’d like to think we’re not flattering ourselves by stating he would probably be pleased with how much support he has within the infrastructure community.

The winner in this category by a long chalk, Trudeau’s victory is certainly the result of his infrastructure-friendly policies, including his government’s 12-year C$180 billion ($146 billion, €117 billion) plan and the nascent C$35 billion national infrastructure bank.

More importantly, Trudeau is that rare thing these days: a politician that’s all-in on infrastructure with a vision that he’s clearly executing. With uncertainty still surrounding Donald Trump’s plan, the UK having an existential crisis about private infrastructure financing and Australia slowing down its flagship privatisations, Trudeau emerges as a shining beacon. The market has responded accordingly.

Fund manager of the year, Global

  1. Global Infrastructure Partners
  2. Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets
  3. BlackRock Real Assets

Bet you didn’t see that one coming. To the surprise of pretty much no one, Global Infrastructure Partners easily won this year’s award.

It took the mantle from last year’s winner, Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, mirroring the way GIP’s $15.8 billion record third fund took the crown for the asset class’s biggest unlisted infrastructure fund from Brookfield’s $14 billion third vehicle.

It’s a remarkable achievement, whichever way you look at it: for its size, certainly, which rivals the biggest vehicles closed in real estate and private equity, two more established asset classes; for its 191 LPs from across the globe, roughly half of which were new; and for its sheer dominance of this year’s fundraising stats, with nearly half of all unlisted infrastructure equity raised at the year’s midway point committed to GIP III, according to Infrastructure Investor data. Add to that a string of weighty deals and you have a manager operating at the top of its game.

Institutional Investor of the Year, Global

  1. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan 
  2. APG Asset Management
  3. PSP Investments
On the right track: HS1 was one of OTPP’s highest-profile deals of 2017

Have you taken a good look at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s infrastructure programme? If you haven’t and you’re a GP, we suspect it’s the stuff of bad dreams. That’s because the Canadian pension has one of the largest direct investment teams in the industry (around 50-strong) and a large-scale infrastructure programme that is daring and innovative, with an eye on returns.

Take last year’s $2 billion greenfield clean energy platform with Anbaric, focusing on high-voltage grids and microgrids. And then there were its high-profile divestments, led by the sale of the UK’s HS1 high-speed rail project to HICL, Equitix and NPS for an enterprise value of more than £3 billion ($4.1 billion, €3.4 billion), followed later in the year by the sale of 30 percent of Bristol and Birmingham airports to New South Wales Treasury Corporation and Sunsuper Superannuation Fund.

Equity Fundraising of the Year, Global

  1. Global Infrastructure Partners
  2. BlackRock Real Assets
  3. Actis/QIC (tie)

Again, no surprises to see Global Infrastructure Partners scoop this award, but it’s worth recapping what an extraordinary achievement its third fund was.

First, the headline figures: at $15.8 billion, it’s the asset class’s biggest unlisted infrastructure fund, attracting 191 LPs – about half of which were new investors – and accounting for a whopping 27 percent of all fundraising in 2017, according to Infrastructure Investor data. But it’s also worth reflecting on what that size allows. As founder Adebayo Ogunlesi put it to us last year: “I often joke that if you go to one of the oil majors and tell them you can invest $500 million, they’ll tell you to go meet with the janitor – if you’re lucky. If you go to them with a cheque of between $2 billion and $5 billion, you at least meet the assistant treasurer, maybe even the chief financial officer.” That’s a position very few managers can lay claim to.

Debt Fundraising of the Year, Global

  1. Mizuho Global Alternative Investments 
  2. AMP Capital
  3. BlackRock Real Assets

If it’s true that AMP Capital’s third mezzanine fund ended up being one of the biggest debt fundraisings of the year, it’s also true that our voters decided Mizuho’s maiden global project finance debt fund had the most impact.

Raising some 33 billion yen ($302 million; €256 million) from some of Japan’s largest institutions, the vehicle is a good example of the promise Japanese investors hold for the global infrastructure market. Backed by some of the country’s largest institutions, including a 10 billion yen seed cheque from Dai-ichi Life Insurance, the 20-year fund will target brownfield project finance debt, particularly senior-secured loans, across the globe. What’s more, the fund is part of a larger 100 billion yen strategy Mizuho hopes to execute. A promising start then.

Institutional Debt Provider of the Year, Global

  1. Allianz Global Investors 
  2. BlackRock Real Assets
  3. MetLife
High flier: Allianz took a lead position
in the refinancing of Budapest Airport

A regular winner in this category, Allianz GI has done it again in 2017 thanks to a string of deals closed all over the globe.

In a typically prolific performance, its activity included: contributing about €525 million for the €1.4 billion refinancing of Budapest Airport; a £500 million ($635 million; €569 million) bond investment into the UK’s M6 toll road, the last investment from its debut £265 million UK debt fund; a $300 million financing for the acquisition of the 8.8-mile Pocahontas Parkway near Richmond, Virginia; and its first US solar deal, said to amount to some $200 million, in the 250MW Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project in Nevada.

In addition to that impressive tally, the firm also launched a new medium-term secured-lending strategy called ‘Resilient Credit’, targeting deals in asset-intensive businesses that are more suited to shorter investment horizons. As the year came to a close, it reached a first close for its second UK debt vehicle, which could raise up to £500 million.

Deal of the Year, Global

  1. Hutchison Global Communications (I Squared Capital) 
  2. First Reserve (BlackRock Real Assets)
  3. National Grid gas distribution (Macquarie, CIC, Allianz, QIA, Hermes, Amber, Dalmore)

US fund manager I Squared Capital’s HK$14.5 billion ($1.86 billion; €1.58 billion) acquisition of Hong Kong fixed-line business Hutchison Global Communications, part of tycoon Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison Group, is one of the year’s heavyweight deals – and easily one of the biggest in the telecoms sector.

In one fell swoop – and in the first deal from the manager’s second vehicle, currently in market with a $6.5 billion hard-cap – I Squared gained a portfolio including more than 1.4 million kilometres of optical-fibre network, coupled with four cross-border routes connected to China, as well as multiple submarine and terrestrial cable systems to international markets. It is also one of the largest-scale Wi-Fi service providers in the city.

That’s not all though. As partner Gautam Bhandari told us at the time, “the asset also provides the opportunity to benefit from the next level of back-haul traffic growth when 5G is adopted”.

PPP Deal of the Year, Global

  1. I-66 Outside the Beltway (Cintra, Meridiam, John Laing, APG)
  2. Pedemontana-Veneta highway (Sacyr/Finic)
  3. Ohio State University (Engie, Axium)

This year was very much the battle of the highways, but Virginia’s $3.6 billion Interstate 66 Outside the Beltway toll road project edged out its European counterpart.

A whopper of a road PPP that saw the sponsors commit $1.5 billion of equity, the I-66 project also received a $1.23 billion TIFIA loan and issued $737 million in Private Activity Bonds. There was such strong demand for the PABs – arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citibank – they were 4.9 times oversubscribed.

All that money will help fund the construction of three new lanes in each direction along a stretch of highway between local Route 29, near Gainesville, and Interstate 495 in Northern Virginia. The 50-year project also calls for reconstructed interchanges, park-and-ride facilities with 4,000 new parking spaces, new transit options and a shared-use facility for pedestrians and cyclists. Construction is expected to be completed by 2022.

Placement Agent of the Year, Global

  1. Evercore Private Funds Group
  2. Campbell Lutyens
  3. DC Placement Advisors

Evercore and Campbell Lutyens are always bumping up against each other for this category, with Campbell usually going home happy. This year, however, the tables have turned.

In retrospect, 2017 might end up being a turning point in Evercore’s career as an infrastructure placement agent. It wasn’t so much about the oversubscribed funds it helped close, though raising £1.12 billion ($1.6 billion, €1.3 billion) to close the world’s first offshore wind fund for the Green Investment Bank (now part of Macquarie) and £750 million to get Equitix’s fourth vehicle to its hard-cap are notable achievements. Rather, it was about the elephant in the background: I Squared’s sophomore fund, for which it helped raise at least $4 billion last year and which is on course to comfortably close on its $6.5 billion hard-cap.

Helping to close one of the asset class’s leading funds will almost certainly help propel Evercore to new heights. Not a bad place to be in at the start of the year.

Developer of the Year, Global 

  1. VINCI 
  2. Cintra
  3. Mainstream Renewable Power
Air miles: VINCI Airports has been
winning contracts across the globe

It’s been a typically busy year for French powerhouse VINCI, one in which it made further inroads in its home European market, while also achieving significant expansion with airport contracts in Japan and Brazil.

The highlights include clinching a €441 million financing package for the expansion of Germany’s A7 motorway, alongside sponsor Meridiam, as well as winning a 42-year contract to run Kobe Airport, alongside Japanese financial group Orix Corporation. The total contract fee for that concession stood at 19.14 billion yen ($171 million; €147 million), with the consortium required to pay 450 million yen upfront and another 445 million yen every year. It also signed a 30-year concession contract for Brazil’s Salvador Airport, which served more than 7.5 million passengers in 2016. But that wasn’t the end of it. VINCI Airports further secured $533 million of debt for the Dominican Republic’s Aerodom and was shortlisted for Serbia’s Belgrade Airport, clinching that concession this January.

Energy Investor of the Year, Global

  1. Global Infrastructure Partners
  2. Macquarie Group
  3. Brookfield Asset Management

There’s tight and then there’s really tight – separated by just one vote, Global Infrastructure Partners took the crown from Macquarie Group in what was an extraordinary year of energy investing for both outfits.

Still, to the victor, the spoils. After closing its record-breaking $15.8 billion infrastructure fund early in 2017, the New York-based fund manager spent the rest of the year investing it in energy infrastructure. Standout deals include the €1.2 billion acquisition of a 50 percent stake in the 450MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind project, from Orsted (formerly known as DONG Energy); the purchase of the largest privately held crude oil transportation system in the Midland Basin of West Texas in a deal worth $1.82 billion; and, of course, the pièce de résistance (which only recently closed): the $5 billion acquisition of Equis Energy – the largest renewables deal ever – with PSP Investments and China Investment Corporation.

Transport Investor of the Year, Global

  1. Meridiam
  2. IFM Investors
  3. DIF

French firm Meridiam has scooped up this award for a few years in a row – but, honestly, it’s hard to find another outfit more active in the transportation space.

In a truly globe-trotting performance it reached a November financial close, alongside Spanish firm Cintra, for the $3.6 billion I-66 road PPP, in Virginia, easily one of the year’s biggest PPP deals. That capped a year in which it also closed on the $1.2 billion I-70 road PPP in the US with Kiewit Infrastructure, and sealed a €420 million package for the expansion of Germany’s A7 motorway, together with VINCI.

It also closed on two landmark African deals: a €300 million investment for a 25 percent stake in GSEZ Mineral Port, a company operating port facilities in Gabon; and a €215 million financing for the expansion of two airports in Madagascar. That’s in addition to entering negotiations over the acquisition of the concessionaire for Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport.

Telecoms and Broadband Investor of the Year, Global

  1. KKR
  2. EQT
  3. AMP Capital
Well connected: KKR picked up important
telecom assets in Spain and India

In recognition of the growing importance of telecoms and broadband as a mainstream investment sector, we decided to introduce a special category to honour the players making the most out of it. KKR, which had a busy 2017 across the dealmaking and fundraising fronts, took the crown for our debut award thanks to two crunch deals clinched in the first half of 2017. In the first, it paid Spanish telecoms firm Telefónica €1.3 billion for up to 40 percent of its infrastructure division, Telxius, giving it ownership of 16,000 telecommunications towers in five countries and 31,000 kilometres of submarine fibre-optic cables, part of a wider 65,000-kilometre portfolio it manages for other clients. In the second, the manager, together with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, picked up a 10.3 percent stake in Bharti Airtel’s telecom towers business for a total of 61.9 billion rupees ($953 million; €884 million). Bharti Infratel, as the unit is known, has a portfolio of more than 90,000 telecom towers, including more than 38,500 of its own, with the balance coming from its 42 percent stake in Indus Towers, India’s largest such company.

Bank of the Year, Global

  1. BNP Paribas 
  2. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  3. ING

BNP Paribas’s advisory work on the sale of CMA CGM Group’s 90 percent stake in Los Angeles’s Global Gateway South Terminal to EQT’s €4 billion third infrastructure fund, at $875 million, is one of the year’s standout deals.

To get a sense of its importance, GGS is the third-largest terminal in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in terms of capacity and the two form the largest and most important gateway in North America for trans-Pacific trade flows.

Add to that a flurry of activity in its European homeland, including its part in the €950 million refinancing of the 288MW Butendiek offshore wind farm in the German North Sea, the €2 billion, 600MW Gemini offshore wind farm in the Netherlands, its participation in Europe’s largest solar refinancing deal,  and its role in the €900 million Grand Est broadband PPP, and you can understand how it took our global crown.

Law firm of the year, Global

  1. Herbert Smith Freehills
  2. Clifford Chance
  3. Allen & Overy

Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills advised on a chunky selection of deals this year, including our Deal of the year, Global recipient: US fund manager I Squared Capital’s HK$14.5 billion ($1.86 billion; €1.58 billion) acquisition of Hong Kong fixed-line business Hutchison Global Communications, part of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison Group.

The law firm was also present in several Australian deals including the landmark New Grafton Correctional Centre PPP project, sponsored by John Laing Investments, John Holland, Serco and Macquarie Capital. Once completed in 2020, it will be the largest facility of its type in Australia with room for 1,700 inmates, which reached financial close in June 2017.

Corporate Trust Services Provider, Global

  1. Deutsche Bank Corporate Trust
  2. HSBC Securities Services
  3. Wilmington Trust
Filling up: The Tank & Rast refinancing was a key deal for DB Corporate Trust

No upsets here: Deutsche Bank Corporate Trust has been bagging this award ever since it began – but there’s no denying the hard work it put in to take home the accolade again this year.

A corporate trust powerhouse, our incumbent won mandates to support more than 60 deals topping €15 billion across renewables, transport and waste. There are too many transactions to enumerate, but there are definitely some highlights worth mentioning. The first is that green bond issuance is playing an increasing role in Deutsche’s offering. But if you’re looking for standout deals, the refinancing of motorway services company Tank & Rast, in which it helped put in place a multibillion-euro debt platform, as well as the financing of rolling stock for South West Rail, its third mandate in a row, are good places to start. But then there’s also its involvement in the US’s landmark I-66 PPP and… well, we could go on, but we’d easily run out of space.


Europe 

CategoryWinner
Fund Manager of the YearInfracapital
Equity Fundraising of the YeariCON Infrastructure Partners
Deal of the YearDIF II (APG)
PPP Deal of the YearPedemontana-Veneta highway (Sacyr, Finic)
Energy Investor of the YearMacquarie Group
Transport Investor of the YearKKR
Telecoms and Broadband Investor of the YearInfracapital
Bank of the YearBNP Paribas
Law Firm of the YearClifford Chance

Jump to: GlobalNorth America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa


Fund Manager of the Year, Europe 

  1. Infracapital
  2. Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets
  3. Ardian
Cable manners: Infracapital is heavily involved in the UK’s fibre rollout

In a memorable six months for Infracapital, the second half of 2017 delivered great success for the UK-based group across a range of its managed platforms.

It was appointed by the British government in July to manage a fund designed to increase broadband investment in the country and improve the experiences of those already connected. This award allowed it to blend in know-how gained from its inaugural greenfield fund, which it closed on £1.25 billion ($1.8 billion; €1.4 billion) in November. The first-of-its-kind vehicle beat its £1 billion target and was 43 percent deployed on closing.

Infracapital also realised its maiden £908 million 2005-vintage fund, generating an 11.4 percent IRR and returning 2.1 times capital, despite a challenging investment period. Meanwhile, the group continued to invest its second £1 billion fund, which was generating a 25 percent IRR after being 91 percent invested. All while it started to raise capital for its third fund targeting £1.5 billion.

Equity Fundraising of the Year, Europe

  1. iCON Infrastructure Partners
  2. Infracapital
  3. Deutsche Asset Management

If iCON Infrastructure’s €1.2 billion fundraise completed in June was turned into a movie, the title should surely be Around The World In 87 Days. The fund had originally been targeting €1 billion but interest from 47 LPs pushed it to hit its hard-cap.

While the fund’s main focus is Europe, the firm’s fourth attempt will also target assets in North America more prominently than its predecessors.

Interest from LPs came from pension funds, asset managers, sovereign wealth funds and insurers across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, with an 85 percent re-up rate achieved.

Gross returns in the mid-teens are expected from the vehicle. The €1.2 billion generated from the process means it’s 50 percent bigger than its predecessor and more than double the €500 million raised by iCON’s Fund II.

The number of LPs was also nearly twice as many as Fund II, which secured support from 24 investors when it closed in 2013.

Deal of the Year, Europe 

  1. DIF II (APG)
  2. Green Investment Bank (Macquarie, USS)
  3. National Grid gas distribution (Macquarie, CIC, Allianz, QIA, Hermes, Amber, Dalmore)

The Dutch pension fund manager took the notion of bulk buying to its limits in a deal that was one of the largest infrastructure portfolio transactions in more than five years, according to advisory firm Campbell Lutyens.

APG purchased the entire €572 million DIF II fund in a transaction that was valued at more than €700 million, securing ownership of 48 PPP and renewable energy projects across continental Europe and the UK.

It was a repeat of the group’s trick in 2014 when it teamed up with Aberdeen to buy all 16 of the assets held by DIF PPP, its maiden infrastructure fund. However, this time APG went alone for a portfolio that was triple the size.

It was a deal that worked for both parties, allowing DIF to beat its net IRR target of about 10 percent for the vehicle. APG enjoyed the experience so much it went to Ardian later in the year to pursue a similar transaction.

PPP Deal of the Year, Europe 

  1. Pedemontana-Veneta highway (Sacyr, Finic)
  2. HS1 (HICL, Equitix, NPS)
  3. Vinca (Suez, Itochu)

It was a long time in the making but Sacyr and Finic finally closed the Pedemontana-Veneta highway PPP in northern Italy in late November on €2.57 billion. The project, which was the subject of legal proceedings earlier in the year, was financed in part through a €1.57 billion bond issuance, one of the largest for a European greenfield project.

The bond came in two tranches: €1.22 billion in senior bonds due in 2047 with a 5 percent coupon and €350 million in subordinated bonds, due in 2027 with an 8 percent coupon. The issuance drew wide-ranging institutional interest, including from Melbourne-based Westbourne Capital. The multi-state-backed Marguerite Fund was also one of the largest investors.

The 39-year concession will involve building 162km of roadway between the Vicenza and Treviso provinces, including two tunnels and 68km of secondary roadway. Following extensive negotiations, revenues will be generated by a combination of tolling and availability payments.

Energy Investor of the Year, Europe

  1. Macquarie Group
  2. Ardian
  3. BlackRock Real Assets
Turning the tide: The UK’s GIB, now owned by Macquarie, played a key role in jump-starting offshore wind

It would have been an exceptional year for Macquarie had it only bought the UK’s Green Investment Bank – but it went much further.

Fortune favours the persistent and Macquarie’s protracted £2.3 billion ($3.2 billion; €2.6 billion) acquisition from the UK government finally closed in August, more than two years after the process was first launched. The name was promptly changed to the Green Investment Group and a few weeks later it had secured its first investment, providing debt to a 70MW energy-from-waste facility in the UK.

Yet Macquarie’s activity in the renewables space was not over and it provided around £500 million in debt to fund Danish pension duo PKA and PFA’s acquisition of 50 percent of the Walney Extension offshore wind farm.

There was more cheer for the group in the gas sector as Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets closed its deal for the UK National Grid’s gas pipeline network, following a £502 million debt facility by Macquarie’s Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions.

Transport Investor of the Year, Europe 

  1. KKR
  2. Mirova
  3. InfraVia

Q-Park was one of the most highly prized assets in the car parks sector and it was eventually KKR who came away triumphant following a €2.95 billion deal with the company’s owners, a group of Dutch pension funds and insurance companies.

Enlisting the help of EDF Invest as a co-investor, KKR emerged victorious in an auction valuing Q-Park at a 15 times multiple on its 2016 EBITDA. It gained access to Q-Park’s facilities in 10 countries across Western Europe, which totals more than 870,000 spaces.

KKR’s investment came during a year in which capital flowed freely into car parking assets and KKR’s Vincent Policard told us following the deal that there remains plenty of consolidation potential in the industry and that the Q-Park transaction provided room for possible follow-on acquisitions. The firm’s victory in the category proves an asset doesn’t need to facilitate movement to be transport.

Telecoms and Broadband Investor of the Year, Europe

  1. Infracapital
  2. KKR
  3. F2i/Marguerite

Infracapital’s success in this inaugural category is a cross-platform victory, a demonstration of the growing importance of the sector.

The firm began the year by increasing its investment in the UK rural broadband provider Gigaclear, offering a further £60 million ($84.3 million; €68.3 million) on top of the £30 million it invested in the company in May 2015. The Gigaclear injection came through the group’s greenfield fund, which was to close later in the year on £1.25 billion.

Its next involvement in the sector came as the UK government appointed Infracapital to manage the Digital Infrastructure Investment Partners fund and improve the fibre rollout across the country. It made its first deployment in November, providing £35 million to the Isle of Wight-based WightFibre, a joint deal with the greenfield fund.

Infracapital compounded its success in the space by teaming up with Nokia in Poland to build and operate advanced fibre optic networks.

Bank of the Year, Europe 

  1. BNP Paribas
  2. ING and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (tied)
  3. Royal Bank of Scotland

It was offshore wind that was crucial in sweeping BNP Paribas to victory in Europe. The French bank was among 14 involved in February’s €950 million refinancing of the 288MW Butendiek offshore wind farm in the German North Sea, although it didn’t dwell on that for long – subsequently helping the 600MW Gemini offshore wind farm in the Netherlands to a €2 billion senior debt refinancing in April.

The renewables refinancing trend for BNP Paribas continued in the UK, where it was one of five to provide £484 million ($686.8 million; €551.1 million) to Octopus Investments to refinance a 522MW portfolio, Europe’s largest solar PV refinancing deal. Not content with that, the consortium came back later in the year with an extra £80 million.

Elsewhere, BNP Paribas was active in its native France – clubbing together with seven other lenders to back the €900 million Grand Est broadband PPP, the largest of the country’s extensive broadband PPP programmes to reach financial close.

Law Firm of the Year, Europe 

  1. Clifford Chance
  2. Allen & Overy
  3. Watson Farley & Williams
Acquistion drive: KKR clinched one of the year’s largest car park deals when it bagged Q-Park

It’s now six in a row for Clifford Chance in this category, as the firm continued to be active in some of the most significant infrastructure events across the continent in 2017.

In two of the most high-profile deals, Clifford Chance acted as advisor to KKR Infrastructure on its €2.95 billion buyout of Q-Park and to Global Infrastructure Partners on the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in the Borkum Riff
grund 2 offshore wind farm project, a deal worth almost €1.2 billion. Elsewhere, the firm acted for Rock Rail, SL Capital and GLIL Infrastructure on the largest single UK rolling stock deal, for which all debt provided came from institutional investors, worth about £1 billion ($1.4 billion; €1.1 billion).

Clifford Chance was also an important player on the fundraising side. It acted as counsel to Infracapital on the raising of its £1.25 billion greenfield fund, the first ever such dedicated strategy.


North America

CategoryWinner
Fund Manager of the YearI Squared Capital
Equity Fundraising of the YearGlobal Infrastructure Partners
Deal of the YearTerraForm Power (Brookfield Asset Management)
PPP Deal of the YearI-66 Outside the Beltway (Cintra, Meridiam, John Laing, APG)
Energy Investor of the YearGlobal Infrastructure Partners
Transport Investor of the YearMeridiam
Telecoms and Broadband Investor of the YearStonepeak Infrastructure Partners
Bank of the YearSumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Law Firm of the YearLatham & Watkins

Jump to: GlobalEurope, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa


Fund Manager of the Year, North America

  1. I Squared Capital
  2. Global Infrastructure Partners
  3. BlackRock Real Assets
New day: I Squared’s second fund seizing the Texas wind opportunity

Newcomer no more, I Squared Capital spent the majority of last year raising one of the largest infrastructure funds currently in the market. I Squared Global Infrastructure Fund II is reportedly on target to reach its $6.5 billion hard-cap early this year.

The sophomore vehicle counts several US institutions as LPs, including Texas Municipal Retirement System, which committed $150 million, and New Mexico Educational Retirement Board, which committed $50 million.

I Squared has begun deploying its fund and made a couple of noteworthy US investments last year – reaching financial close to develop a $330 million wind farm in Texas and acquiring Houston-based midstream company Pinnacle.

Investments from the firm’s debut fund, which closed on $3 billion in 2015, are also apparently performing well. Pension documents published in August show I Squared Global Infrastructure Fund is generating a 15 percent net IRR.

Equity Fundraising of the Year, North America

  1. Global Infrastructure Partners
  2. BlackRock Real Assets
  3. First Infrastructure Capital Advisors

Global Infrastructure Partners made history last year by closing the largest unlisted infrastructure fund ever on $15.8 billion, collecting sizeable LP commitments from well-known US institutions and investing in a nearly $2 billion midstream project in Texas.

The New York-based fund manager started 2017 with its record-breaking final close on a fund that accounted for more than a quarter of all infrastructure equity raised last year. GIP III attracted almost 200 investors from around the globe, including a $1 billion commitment from Washington State Investment Board, $500 million from Alaska Permanent Fund and $400 million from Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund.

GIP’s first US investment from Fund III came in October when it agreed to purchase Medallion Gathering and Processing, the largest privately held crude oil transportation system in the Midland Basin of West Texas. The $1.82 billion deal gives GIP an asset operating more than 800 miles of pipelines and a newly constructed gathering and transportation system.

Deal of the Year, North America

  1. TerraForm Power (Brookfield Asset Management)
  2. First Reserve (BlackRock Real Assets)
  3. ITS ConGlobal (AMP Capital)

Brookfield Asset Management swooped in last year to claim the crown jewel of SunEdison’s fallen renewables empire – TerraForm Power. Through its clean energy unity, Brookfield Renewable Partners, Brookfield acquired a 51 percent interest in TerraForm Power and its 2.6GW of solar and wind assets predominately located in the US for $656 million. Brookfield won this award on the TerraForm Power acquisition alone, but it must be mentioned that the firm acquired sister company TerraForm Global as well.

At the heart of this deal is the infamous SunEdison bankruptcy. TerraForm Power served as SunEdison’s North American yieldco, quickly ballooning in size to enable its parent’s aggressive growth. When SunEdison’s plan backfired and Chapter 11 ensued, Brookfield was one of the first names that surfaced as a possible TerraForm buyer. It ended up being the last name as well, and now Brookfield’s renewables business has achieved a serious and sizeable upgrade.

PPP Deal of the Year, North America 

  1. I-66 Outside the Beltway (Cintra, Meridiam, John Laing, APG)
  2. Ohio State University (Engie, Axium)
  3. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health phase 1C (Plenary Group, PCL Investments Canada)
Ground breaking: The I-66 Outside the Beltway is one of the largest US PPPs

In November, the I-66 Express Mobility Partners consortium closed on the $3.6 billion PPP. The project, one of the largest PPPs in the US, will widen the Virginia highway by adding three express lanes in each direction from Route 29 near Gainesville to I-495 in Northern Virginia.

The sponsors will put $1.5 billion in equity into the project, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citibank arranging another $737 million through the sale of Private Activity Bonds. The group secured $1.23 billion in loans through the federal TIFIA programme.

Virginia first announced its plan to tap the private sector for the project in 2015. The project drew interest from across the industry, with a team comprising Transurban and Skanska and another with InfraRed Capital Partners, Isolux and Fluor also considered. The express lanes are set to open in 2022. A successful project could spur similar deals in the sector.

Energy Investor of the Year, North America

  1. Global Infrastructure Partners
  2. Brookfield Asset Management
  3. BlackRock Real Assets

GIP made its debut US investment from its record-breaking third infrastructure fund last October, when it agreed to purchase Medallion Gathering and Processing, the largest privately held crude oil transportation system in the Midland Basin of West Texas.

The $1.82 billion deal gives GIP an asset operating more than 800 miles of pipelines and a newly constructed gathering and transportation system. The Energy & Minerals Group, a private equity firm investing in upstream and midstream energy assets, and oil and gas developer Laredo Petroleum sold stakes of 51 percent and 49 percent respectively.

Investment bank Jefferies provided GIP with $725 million of stapled debt financing to help fund the purchase. Energy has been a staple of the $15.8 billion Fund III, with important transactions clinched across the globe in 2017, including a €1.2 billion deal for a 50 percent stake in a 450MW German offshore wind farm and, of course, leading the consortium that acquired Equis Energy for $5 billion. The latter, which only closed earlier this year, is the largest renewables deal ever.

Transport Investor of the Year, North America

  1. Meridiam
  2. Ferrovial
  3. TIAA Private Investments

The $3.6 billion Interstate 66 Outside the Beltway toll road project in Virginia was Meridiam’s biggest deal in the US market. Meridiam and its consortium partners secured commercial debt, federal government funding and have committed $1.5 billion of equity to the project. The I-66 expansion will feature the construction of three new lanes in each direction along a stretch of highway in Virginia.

The Paris-based firm is also a member of a consortium that last November closed on the $1.2 billion Interstate 70 project in Colorado. Along with Nebraska-based Kiewit Infrastructure, Meridiam agreed to a 34-year concession that tasks the team with building, financing, operating and maintaining the replacement of a 50-year-old I-70 East viaduct as well as expanding a 12-mile segment of the highway by adding two managed lanes. The whole life cost of the project is expected to reach $2.2 billion, and the consortium will receive availability payments over a 30-year term following construction.

Telecoms and Broadband Investor of the Year, North America 

  1. Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners 
  2. TPG Capital
  3. PSP Investments/TIAA
Data-centred: Cologix gives Stonepeak a portfolio of 24 data centres across the US

Last March, the New York-based firm closed one of the year’s biggest deals in the space, acquiring a majority interest in Colorado-based data centre developer Cologix. Cologix, valued at around $1.25 billion at the time of the deal, operates 24 data centres in the US and Canada.

While the price of the deal was not released, Stonepeak provided an additional $500 million of growth capital.

With the Cologix investment, Stonepeak continued its active participation in the telecoms space. The firm invested in Extenet Systems, an Illinois-based wireless infrastructure firm, in 2015, a year after backing Florida-based Vertical Bridge Holdings.

“Communications infrastructure is a really interesting sector because the underlying driver of revenues is data usage, and data usage is growing at exponential rates,” Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners co-founder Michael Dorrell told Infrastructure Investor at the time of the Cologix deal. “There’s no other infrastructure sector out there that has that strong a growth profile as the communications space.”

Bank of the Year, North America

  1. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  2. Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  3. ING

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has retained its spot as North America’s bank of the year. Last year, the Japanese banking giant was awarded the title of region’s best lender by having roles in innovative renewables deals and $1 billion campus public-private partnership. Sumitomo’s 2017 activity was in both similar and new sectors.

In North America, Sumitomo’s nearly $1 billion of deal value participation is spread across 29 deals in sectors including power and transmission, transportation, renewables and social infrastructure.

One of the bank’s higher profile deals last year was its rail services division completing a $2.78 billion acquisition of American Railcar Leasing. SMBC Rail Services said the deal was based on an “expectation of stable demand” for rail freight transportation and infrastructure.

Law Firm of the Year, North America

  1. Latham & Watkins
  2. Mayer Brown
  3. Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy

Latham & Watkins was involved in more than a dozen infrastructure transactions in North America in 2017, making it one of the most prolific law firms in the region.

The firm had its hand in deals across transportation, energy and utility infrastructure. In the power space, Latham represented the sponsor on the $2.3 billion AES Southland Energy Project in Arizona and Colorado. Along with two gas-fired power plants totalling 1.24GW, the project includes two battery storage systems comprising 110MW. Latham was also active in several green energy projects, including the private placement of Duke Energy’s 710MW Texoma Wind portfolio in Texas and Oklahoma.

In the utility space, Latham advised Orion Energy Partners as it provided $75 million in backing to Future Energy Solutions Lighting Group to support its energy efficient infrastructure business. The firm also represented AMP Capital in the financing of a portfolio of US telecommunications assets.


Latin America

CategoryWinner
PPP Deal of the YearLine 1 of the Lima Metro expansion (Graña y Montero, Ferrovias)
Law firm of the YearClifford Chance
Deal of the YearOdebrecht Ambiental (Brookfield Business Partners, Sumitomo Corporation)
Bank of the YearSumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Jump to: Global, Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa


Deal of the Year, Latin America

  1. Odebrecht Ambiental (Brookfield Business Partners, Sumitomo Corporation)
  2. GNL Quintero (OMERS)
  3. Airplan/ Aeropuertos de Oriente (Aeroportuario del Sureste)
Crest of a wave: Brookfield and Sumitomo took control of key Brazilian water asset Odebrecht Ambiental

The $908 million sale of Odebrecht Ambiental, a result of the Odebrecht corruption scandal in Brazil, took deal of the year for the Latin American market. A consortium of investors agreed to buy a 70 percent stake in Brazil’s largest water distribution and treatment company, with a portfolio of 26 operating businesses serving around 17 million people. Investors included Brookfield Business Partners and Sumitomo Corporation.

There was immediate interest in Odebrecht Ambiental after Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction conglomerate, began listing its assets for sale in 2016. The investor consortium in this deal agreed to pay $768 million for the controlling stake and $140 million to fund operations and support growth. Brookfield invested $340 million for a 26 percent stake, and Sumitomo paid $250 million for a 14 percent stake. Brazil’s national severance guarantee fund retained a 30 percent interest, but the company was renamed BRK Ambiental.

PPP Deal of the Year, Latin America

  1. Line 1 of the Lima Metro expansion (Graña y Montero, Ferrovias)
  2. Red Compartida (Morgan Stanley, CDPQ, CKD IM)
  3. Road Corridors 21 and 24 (Sacyr Concesiones, CAF)

In August, Peruvian developer Graña y Montero teamed with Argentina-based Ferrovias on a $316 million deal to expand capacity of the Line 1 metro in Peru’s capital. The upgrades allow for the purchase of 20 new trains and 39 Alstom cars along with upgrades to five train stations.

Lima’s metro expansion is supported by two Japanese banks, Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Mizuho provided a total of $396 million in financing, including a three-year $80 million working capital facility for the project concessionaire alongside a 17-year, $316 million credit facility.

The scheme is expected to double the frequency of trains on the 34.6km line during peak hours, cutting the time between trains from six minutes to three. Daily ridership is set to jump from 320,000 to 500,000 clients.

The Line 1 expansion is part of a larger effort to build out the metro system of Peru’s largest city. The $5.8 billion Line 2 is expected to open in 2022.

Bank of the Year, Latin America

  1. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  2. Inter-American Investment Corporation
  3. Mizuho
On track: The Lima Metro Line 1 expansion
is set to double train frequency

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation left a large footprint on deal activity in Latin America last year, securing its title as the region’s bank of the year.

Sumitomo’s headline deal in Latin America last year was its role in the $316 million deal to expand capacity of Line 1 metro in Peru’s capital. The bank acted as lead arranger to GyM Ferrovias in the financing, including a $396 million package featuring a three-year, $80 million working capital facility and a 17-year, $316 million credit facility.

A deal Sumitomo pulled out of was just as important. The bank recalled $250 million in financing for a transportation project in Colombia that a few months later was called off entirely. Sumitomo did provide financing for another Colombian transportation project, the Autopista al Mar 2 highway PPP, agreeing to a $450 million loan to upgrade 109 kilometres of roads, bridges and tunnels.

Law firm of the Year, Latin America

  1. Clifford Chance
  2. Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy
  3. Paul Hastings

Clifford Chance had a hand in many of the region’s major deals across the transportation, telecommunications and energy space.

In April, Clifford Chance helped guide through one of the year’s biggest telecoms deals: the $1.8 billion financing for the Red Compartida wholesale shared mobile network. Mexican construction consortium Altán Redes was backed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, the International Finance Corporation, the China-Mexico Fund, CDPQ and the Mexican Afores. In June, the firm advised Citigroup Global Markets in its backing of Costa Rica’s Ruta 27 toll road, as the bank structured a $350.75 million bond offering.

In renewables, Clifford Chance advised AELA Group, a joint venture comprising Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power, on financing two wind farms in Chile. The $410 million portfolio includes the 170 MW Sarco and 129 MW Aurora wind farms. The firm cited the deal as a model for future Latin American renewables project.


Asia-Pacific

CategoryWinners
Fund Manager of the YearI Squared Capital 
Equity Fundraising of the YearGlobal Infrastructure Partners
Deal of the YearHutchison Global Communications (I Squared Capital) 
PPP Deal of the YearNew Grafton Correctional Centre (Serco, John Laing, John Holland, Macquarie Capital)
Energy Investor of the YearMacquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets 
Transport Investor of the YearI Squared Capital 
Telecoms and Broadband Investor of the YearI Squared Capital 
Bank of the YearMizuho Bank 
Law Firm of the YearBaker & McKenzie 

Jump to: Global, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East & Africa


Fund Manager of the Year, Asia-Pacific

  1. I Squared Capital 
  2. Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets
  3. Equis
Hong Kong: Hutchison Global will turn I Squared into one of the biggest Wi-Fi providers in the city

After bagging several of our Asia-Pacific categories, it’s no wonder I Squared capped it off by winning our Fund Manager of the Year gong for the region. After all, the US fund manager was active in both mature and developing markets in Asia last year, from Hong Kong to India, acquiring operating assets in the transport and telecoms sectors.

Making the debut deal from its second global infrastructure fund in Hong Kong, I Squared acquired Hutchison Global Communications, a fixed-line telecoms business, for $1.9 billion. The transaction is also the recipient of our Deal of the Year, Asia-Pacific award, rewarding I Squared’s dealmaking prowess in the face of intense competition from other private equity firms and local strategic companies.

But the manager is also tapping into another of Asia’s fastest-growing economies – India. Its highways investment vehicle for the country was actively making deals and is planning a further $1 billion in new investments. At the same time it has secured new commitments from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and a group of Japanese investors led by Mitsubishi Corporation.

Equity Fundraising of the Year, Asia-Pacific

  1. Global Infrastructure Partners
  2. QIC
  3. CGN Private Equity

Considering the New York-based fund manager raised the largest-ever unlisted infrastructure fund at $15.8 billion, it is not surprising to find that it included significant contributions from Asia-Pacific. After all, the region has some of the most significant capital pools among international institutional investors and they just happen to be ready to spend more on infrastructure.

As a result, 43 of the third fund’s 191 LPs came from Asia-Pacific. But GIP is not just raising record amounts of capital in the region – it is also spending record amounts of capital in the region. Last year, the manager led a consortium that bought Equis Energy for $5 billion. The deal, which has now closed, was clinched alongside Canada’s PSP Investments and China Investment Corporation, and is now the largest renewable energy generation acquisition in history. With other Western managers increasingly looking at the region, expect that to be a sign of things to come.

Deal of the Year, Asia-Pacific

  1. Hutchison Global Communications (I Squared Capital) 
  2. Endeavour Energy (MIRA, AMP, bcIMC, QIA)
  3. Energy Development Corporation (GIC, MIRA)

In one of the biggest telecoms deals of the year, US fund manager I Squared Capital bought 100 percent of Hutchison Global Communications, a fixed-line service provider in Hong Kong, for $1.9 billion.

I Squared was investing through its ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund II, which raised just over $4 billion last November. The deal was also the first acquisition by the vehicle, with a mandate to invest in mid-market brownfield opportunities across the world. It valued the telecoms business at 11 times EBITDA.

Previously owned by Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison Group, the telecoms company owns and runs more than 1.4 million kilometres of optical-fibre network, coupled with cross-border routes and cable systems linking to China and international markets. It is also one of the largest Wi-Fi service providers in the city.

The deal reflects the changing shape of the telecoms market, where there has been significant activity recently in Hong Kong and across Asia-Pacific. The US firm expects its investment will also enable Hutchison to develop new solutions to meet the increasing demand for high-speed information infrastructure throughout the region and beyond.

PPP Deal of the Year, Asia-Pacific

  1. New Grafton Correctional Centre (Serco, John Laing, John Holland, Macquarie Capital)
  2. Hangzhou-Shaoxing-Taizhou high-speed railway PPP (Fosun Group)
  3. Mopa Airport (GMR Airports)

The A$2.6 billion ($2 billion; €1.7 billion) 1,700-bed New Grafton Correctional Centre PPP project, in New South Wales, is one of the year’s biggest social infrastructure PPPs and Australia’s largest prison. The project plays a key role in the NSW justice system as a primary correctional complex in the region.

The Northern Pathways consortium, comprising the UK’s Serco and John Laing, as well as John Holland and Macquarie Capital, is responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new facility on behalf of the state government for 20 years. The project focuses on rehabilitation to reduce reoffending rates and is intended to address a shortage of beds and facilities across the state’s correctional centres.

The team was named preferred bidder in March 2017. At that time, the state government described the bid as “superior” in terms of operational excellence, price and design. Serco said the project marks a further important expansion of its international justice business as it already operates the country’s current largest correctional facility, the Acacia Prison.

Energy Investor of the Year, Asia-Pacific

  1. Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets 
  2. QIC
  3. IDFC Alternatives
Hot stuff: EDC is MIRA’s big geothermal play

Delivering two, large-scale energy deals in the region, the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager was actively involved across energy markets in both emerging and developed Asia-Pacific.

On one hand, in Australia, a consortium of MIRA, bclMC, AMP Capital and QIA successfully won the last of the three electricity transmission and distribution networks privatised by the New South Wales government in May under its asset recycling programme.

The consortium took a 50.4 percent stake in Endeavour Energy under a 99-year, A$7.62 billion lease to supply electricity to 2.4 million people in Sydney. On the other hand, MIRA partnered with GIC to invest $1.3 billion in Energy Development Corporation, the largest geothermal energy company in the world. Through the deal, the two foreign investors became substantial shareholders in a renewables business of nearly 1.5GW of clean and renewable energy assets. They believe EDC’s unique portfolio of assets will continue to generate stable and sustainable returns. A good year, then.

Transport Investor of the Year, Asia-Pacific

  1. I Squared Capital 
  2. Palisade Investment Partners
  3. Kansai Airports (Orix/VINCI Airports)

India was obviously a key country in the transport sector in 2017, with I Squared  Capital busy working on both making deals and raising capital for its Indian toll roads platform during the year.

Cube Highways and Infrastructure – the Indian roads vehicle founded by the US fund manager and the International Finance Corporation – completed its third investment with the acquisition of Andhra Pradesh Expressways from IL&FS in March, followed by the proposed acquisition of two operating toll roads in Tamil Nadu in December. Cube Highways invests only in mature operational assets.

On the fundraising front, the platform received a new commitment from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which helped fund a further $1 billion in investments in the Indian highways sector. It didn’t stop there. Cube Highways signed definitive agreements at the end of 2017 to sell a minority stake to a Japanese consortium of infrastructure investors led by Mitsubishi Corporation. The new commitments reflect investor confidence in the company, as well as the growth potential of the highways sector in India.

Telecoms and Broadband Investor of the Year, Asia-Pacific

    1. I Squared Capital 
    2. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
    3. KWAP

“A very high-quality asset.” That’s how I Squared Capital described the first investment from its sophomore global infrastructure vehicle – the $1.9 billion acquisition of Hutchison’s fixed-line business.

Hutchison Global Communications owns and operates a vast network of optical fibre, as well as several cross-border routes and cable systems connecting to China and international markets. It is also one of the largest-scale Wi-Fi service providers in the city.

Competition for the telecoms business was understood to be fierce, with several private equity firms and local strategic players reportedly among the suitors for the business. I Squared eventually won the grand prize, with the offer valuing the business at 11 times EBITDA. The investment is expected to offer stable revenue and good future growth prospects, due to its market position.

Bank of the Year, Asia-Pacific

  1. Mizuho Bank 
  2. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
  3. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Blowing hot: Mizuho played a key role in Japan’s largest project financing of wind assets

Mizuho Bank was going strong in the infrastructure space last year. With several deals under its belt, the bank was present in nearly $1.3 billion of financings over the year across the infrastructure sector in domestic and overseas markets such as Peru, Australia and Indonesia, Infrastructure Investor data show.

While lending to large-scale infrastructure projects across the globe, the bank was careful not to neglect its home market of Japan – Mizuho acted as the lead arranger to close a 24 billion yen project finance facility for a joint fund established by Development Bank of Japan and Japan Wind Development. This was the largest project finance in Japan for a portfolio of multiple wind assets, supported by nine financial institutions, including Mizuho.

Showing that it is very much alive to domestic institutional investor appetite, subsidiary Mizuho Global Alternative Investments closed its maiden project finance fund on $300 million from domestic investors, targeting brownfield project finance debt across the globe.

Law Firm of the Year, Asia-Pacific

  1. Baker & McKenzie 
  2. Latham & Watkins
  3. Ashurst

The international law firm was involved in an impressive list of deals, particularly in the energy space. By the end of 2017, it had advised on 12 deals with a combined project value of nearly $4.3 billion, according to Infrastructure Investor data.

One of the key transactions was the financing of a 400MW gas and fuel oil-fired power station, in Bangladesh’s Sirajganj district. The law firm acted for the project company and sponsors in the transaction representing the first PPP project with a foreign investor in the power sector in the country.

The firm was also active in the renewables space across the region. In Japan, it participated in the country’s first solar project involving offshore sponsors. What’s more, the 25MW project, in Iwate Prefecture, was financed despite being subject to a potentially unlimited curtailment regime. In a very different market context, the firm also advised sponsors on the development and project financing of a 70MW wind farm in Indonesia – the first project-financed wind IPP in the country. In addition,  it advised the UK’s Foresight Group on the acquisition of Barcaldine Solar Farm in early 2017.


Middle East & Africa

CategoryWinner
Fund Manager of the YearMeridiam
Bank of the YearStandard Chartered
Law firm of the YearClifford Chance
Deal of the YearMadagascar airport expansion (Meridiam, Bouygues, ADP, Colas)

Jump to: Global, Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific


 

Fund Manager of the Year, Middle East & Africa

  1. Meridiam
  2. Actis
  3. Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers
Checking in: Meridiam expands in Africa with Madagascar airport deal

After five straight victories for Actis, Meridiam finally took the crown and it was transport investments that drove the French group to success. The firm continued to invest its Infrastructure Africa Fund, beginning with a €215 million airport deal in Madagascar. Meridiam holds 45 percent in a three-way consortium to expand the terminals and runways at the Antananarivo Airport in Madagascar’s capital and at Nosy Be Airport in the north of the island.

The fund manager followed the deal with the purchase of a 25 percent share in GSEZ Mineral Port, a port operator in Gabon, viewing the investment as a “gateway to and from Central Africa”.

The Gabon and Madagascar deals were supplemented by Meridiam’s investment in NEoT Capital, a battery storage-focused firm aiming to spend hundreds of millions across Africa. The funding was a boost for NEoT, which had been established by EDF, Caisse des Dépots and Forsee Power less than a half a year before Meridiam decided to invest.

Deal of the Year, Middle East and Africa

  1. Madagascar airport expansion (Meridiam, Bouygues, ADP, Colas)
  2. Sweihan solar farm (Jinko Solar, Marubeni Corporation)
  3. Rwanda Mamba power plant/Benban Solar Park (tie)

A Meridiam-led expansion plan to increase passenger capacity at two airports in Madagascar received the nod for this year’s deal of the year in the Middle East and Africa region. The consortium reached a €215 million financial close on a package to expand the terminals and runways at Madagascar’s Antananarivo and Nosy Be airports. The investors plan to increase annual passenger capacity at the former to 1.8 million and 500,000 at Nosy Be.

The expansion is part of the consortium’s 28-year concession agreement awarded in 2015. Investors in the group include Meridiam, Aéroports de Paris Management, Bouygues and Colas. Debt providers for this deal include the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and Proparco, which each providing €25 million, as well as the International Finance Corporation, the OPEC Fund for International Development and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Bank of the Year, Middle East & Africa

  1. Standard Chartered
  2. Sumitomi Mitsui Banking Corporation
  3. Natixis
Taking off: The expansion of Dubai’s smaller airport was a standout for Standard Chartered

Over the year, Standard Chartered set about getting Dubai moving over land and sea with two key deals. It was one of several commercial lenders to team up with state-owned Islamic banks to finance the first phase of expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport – currently the smaller of Dubai’s two hubs but set to become the world’s largest once the full $32.6 billion project is completed.

The bank then moved on to Dubai’s metro extension project for which it clubbed together with Intesa Sanpaolo, HSBC and Santander to back the extension being carried out by the government of Dubai with $1.1 billion of debt.

In Africa, Standard Chartered was part of a group of lenders insured by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance to provide a $1 billion tranche for the Nacala Logistic Corridor rail link from Mozambique to Malawi. The $2.7 billion deal, closed in November, is one of Africa’s largest ever infrastructure project financings.

Law firm of the Year, Middle East and Africa

  1. Clifford Chance
  2. Norton Rose Fulbright
  3. Allen & Overy

Clifford Chance was in on some of the largest and most innovative infrastructure deals throughout the Middle East and Africa market, leading to its title of the region’s top law firm.

As a legal advisor to Saudi Arabia, Clifford Chance helped secure an agreement to let private companies operate five Saudi airports under public-private partnerships. Clifford Chance said the deals are the first major non-utility PPPs to close in Saudi Arabia and is part of the government’s plan to offload 27 of its domestic and international airports by 2020.

Clifford Chance also advised a consortium of Chinese investors on a $2.1 billion deal to finance Jordan’s first oil shale power project. The firm also helped a consortium of developers in Africa reach financial close on a project to build a peat-fired power plant in Rwanda that generates between 80 to 120MW.