Fundraising continues upward climb

New global infrastructure fundraising figures show the market has improved every year since the slump that followed the Global Financial Crisis in 2009. Last year’s figure was almost $3bn higher than the previous year at $23.5bn.

The latest infrastructure fundraising update from placement agent Probitas Partners shows that the global total reached $23.5 billion in 2012, beating the $20.8 billion collected in 2011.

This continues a positive upward trend for the infrastructure fundraising market since it slumped to $10.7 billion in 2009 in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. The 2010 figure was $19.0 billion. However, the market has not recovered to its peak level of $39.7 billion in 2007.

There are also some reasons for caution embedded in the 2012 figures. The most obvious of these is that, in October, New York-based Global Infrastructure Partners closed the world’s largest ever infrastructure fund on $8.25 billion. Given that GIP had only raised just over $3 billion of this by the end of 2011, the 2012 figure would have been lower than the previous year without the firm’s contribution.

Probitas also points out that “though there were a number of extremely successful closes, a number of funds closed below target or failed to raise at all”. It found that 70 funds had posted some sort of closing during 2012, but only 30 of these were final closes. More than $1 billion was raised by GIP, EQTCarlyle Group’s energy mezzanine fund and Brazil’s Sondas during the course of the year.

The survey found that more than two-thirds of the total raised in 2012 was for investment in the developed markets of Europe and North America or global funds with heavy allocations to these markets. Most funds raised targeted both brownfield and greenfield opportunities, but with a bias to brownfield.

Funds focused on debt are continuing to gather momentum, accounting for 12 percent of the overall market last year.