Blackstone to target $3bn to $5bn for infrastructure fund

Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, in pre-marketing mode for its debut fund, will seek to raise one of the larger infrastructure funds yet. Last year the firm hired two Macquarie managing directors to head its infrastructure team.

The Blackstone Group will seek to raise between $3 billion and $5 billion for its debut infrastructure fund, a market source familiar with the firm told InfrastructureInvestor.

The fund, Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, has not yet begun fundraising. But it is anticipated that when it does, it will seek to raise between $3 billion and $5 billion and will use Park Hill as its placement agent, the source said.

Park Hill is an affiliate of Blackstone that was formed in 2005. In the past, it has focused on raising corporate private equity, mezzanine and venture capital funds, but in June 2006 it added a team focused on real estate, hedge funds and related vehicles.

Calls to Blackstone and Park Hill were not returned by press time.

The $3 billion to $5 billion fundraising range, if successful, would catapult Blackstone into the ranks of the larger infrastructure funds in the market. Fellow private equity powerhouse Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is currently raising its first infrastructure fund targeting roughly $4 billion, while Macquarie is seeking $6 billion for Macquarie Infrastructure Partners II and €5 billion for Macquarie European Infrastructure Partners III, according to data from placement agent Probitas Partners. 

Blackstone launched its infrastructure efforts in the middle of 2008 when it hired Trent Vichie and Michael Dorrell from Macquarie Capital in New York as founding partners of Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.

At Macquarie, Dorrell was a senior managing director making investments in utilities, roads, aviation, social infrastructure and energy. Vichie, a managing director at the firm, was involved in a number of landmark transactions in the US, including the 2005 long-term lease of the Chicago Skyway for $1.83 billion. He also worked on Macquarie’s lease of the Indiana Toll Road for $3.8 billion in 2006 and its bidding for the Pennsylvania Turnpike last year.