Fiera Infrastructure builds out PPP portfolio

The newly launched Canadian firm has acquired five projects from Forum Equity Partners.

Fiera Infrastructure has acquired five PPP projects previously held by Canadian alternative asset manager Forum Equity Partners just a month after its launch.

The transaction will see the Toronto-based firm buy 100 percent of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Pedestrian Tunnel (BBPT), the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre Expansion (SPSCE) in British Columbia, a social housing project in Western Canada, and the South West Detention Centre (SWDC) in Ontario, as well as a 50 percent stake in the Quinte Consolidated Courthouse in Belleville, Ontario (QCC). 

All the acquired projects are up and running with the exception of the housing project, which involves the design, renovation, financing, and maintenance of 13 single room occupancy buildings and is on track to be completed by the third quarter of 2016.

Fiera Infrastructure reached financial close on three of the five projects earlier this week, while it expects to close on SWDC and the social housing project in the third quarter of 2016.

“Our intent was to quickly secure high-quality core assets which provide investors with access to income-generating infrastructure assets,” Fiera Infrastructure president Alinda Osorio said in a statement. “With the addition of these new assets, we are putting Fiera Infrastructure at the forefront of the alternative investment market.”

The firm did not disclose financial details of the transactions.

Fiera Infrastructure was launched last month following what Fiera Capital CFO John Valentini described as “a sort of acquisition” of Aquila Infrastructure Management and its team – Fiera Capital owns 75 percent of the new entity – to create a proprietary infrastructure platform.

Fiera Capital’s previous infrastructure platform was Fiera Axium Infrastructure. Last September, the infrastructure investment firm dropped Fiera from its name to comply with the Volcker Rule. In January, Fiera Capital divested its 33 percent stake in what is now Axium Infrastructure.

Headquartered in Montréal and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Fiera Capital invests across a range of traditional and alternative asset classes. As of 31 December 2015, the firm had more than C$100 billion in assets under management.

Its infrastructure portfolio totals C$1.2 billion ($947 million; €842 million), which includes Fiera Infrastructure’s C$500 million of invested and committed capital and C$700 million of infrastructure debt. The latter is managed by Fiera Infrastructure Debt, a separate and unrelated entity to Fiera Infrastructure led by David Frei.