Government-owned QIC is looking to raise capital for a global infrastructure investment vehicle, according to several people with knowledge of the firm.
The Brisbane, Australia-headquartered asset manager, which already invests third-party capital on behalf of more than 90 institutional clients, is in “discussions” with a number of investors “on advanced market soundings for a potential infrastructure product,” a source told Infrastructure Investor. Two people said that QIC is targeting an initial amount of about $1.5 billion.
In an email response, QIC declined to answer questions related to fundraising, saying that it “does not comment on market rumours”.
A person with knowledge of the firm said it had been looking to boost the capabilities of its infrastructure unit in recent months. Melannie Pyzik, an investment specialist, joined the team in Sydney about six months ago.
QIC’s offshore offices are for now solely staffed with members of its real estate and private equity units – as well as fixed income, compliance and multi asset professionals – but the company plans to expand its infrastructure team’s footprint to include London and probably San Francisco. The moves could be effective before the end of the year, QIC Global Infrastructure head Ross Israel told Infrastructure Investor this summer.
Founded in 1991 by the Queensland government, QIC has around A$75 billion (€52 billion; $66 billion) under management. Its client base comprises pension plans, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the US.
The firm made the headlines last April when it sold Australian toll road operator Queensland Motorways to a consortium comprising Transurban, AustralianSuper and Tawreed Investments for A$7.057 billion. It had originally paid A$3.088 billion to acquire the company in 2011.
QIC now manages about A$5.1 billion of infrastructure assets, with an additional A$6.6 billion in proceeds related to the Queensland Motorways sale. It primarily targets the transportation, energy and utilities sectors as well as public-private partnerships with availability payment structures.
Its infrastructure portfolio comprises 18 direct and indirect investments, with 60 percent of the assets located in Australia and the balance held abroad, predominantly in OECD countries.