EQT Infra heads to Asia with Temasek partnership

The Swedish firm, which has focused on the US and Europe, is looking to expand eastward with the help of the Singapore-based investment firm.

EQT Infrastructure is expanding its presence into Asia, as the Stockholm-based firm has partnered with Temasek, the Singapore government-backed investment firm, to explore opportunities in the region.

EQT announced the agreement with Temasek this week, and the firms will work together to identify potential investments in Southeast Asia, India, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The partners will look for brownfield opportunities in communications, transportation, energy and social infrastructure, according to EQT.

“The relationship with Temasek will open networks in the pursuit of finding relevant infrastructure assets with strong development potentials,” said head of EQT real assets Lennart Blecher.

Nagi Hamiyeh, joint head, enterprise development group, Temasek International, told Infrastructure Investor: “We are happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with EQT Partners as we evaluate companies with existing infrastructure assets in Asia. As a long-term investor, companies which have underlying infrastructure assets may present attractive investment opportunities for us where they meet our returns expectations.”

The move represents a significant strategy shift for EQT, which has thus far focused on investments in Europe and the US. The firm closed on its third fund in February, raising $4 billion. EQT has recently been active in the communications space, acquiring fibre-optic internet provider Lumos Networks Corporation in a $950 million deal in February and last month buying a majority share in Spirit Communications, a US fibre and broadband service provider.

EQT’s team has been gearing up for the expansion for several months, as Fabian Gröne, a director at the firm, relocated to EQT’s Singapore office in mid-2017.

Founded in 1974, Temasek manages a SGD 275 billion ($197 billion; €184 billion) portfolio as at 31 March 2017, mainly in Singapore and the rest of Asia. The firm has returned an annual 15 percent since inception in SDG terms.