Fundraising picks up in H1 as large closes loom

This is the second best first-half performance since 2012, with an extra $9bn raised compared with last year – discounting GIP III – as fund sizes continue to grow.

Unlisted, closed-ended infrastructure funds have put in their second best H1 performance since 2012, with preliminary data* from Infrastructure Investor showing $36.28 billion raised.

That total compares favourably with the $43.14 billion raised in the first half of last year – the best H1 performance since 2012 – once you strip away the $15.8 billion close of Global Infrastructure Partners’ record-breaking third fund. In fact, with GIP III, which raised the lion’s share of capital before 2017, discounted, the amount of capital raised in H1 2018 increased by $8.94 billion – and would rise by a further $5 billion from the first close of Blackstone’s debut fund, if our numbers were tracking open-ended vehicles.

What’s particularly encouraging about the first half of 2018 is that its strong performance does not yet include any of the large final closes expected to take place this year, including I Squared Capital’s $6.5 billion close for its sophomore fund, and the $7 billion apiece expected for the final closes of KKR’s and Stonepeak’s third infrastructure funds.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the amount of capital descending on the asset class, fund sizes have continued to grow. Last H1, for example, four of the top 10 funds closed below $1 billion; this year, the smallest fund in the top 10 closed on $1.64 billion.

It’s also worth noting that the two top fund closes – Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners III, which raised just over $4 billion, and Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund II, which amassed $3.3 billion – are, respectively, a renewables-dedicated fund and a regional vehicle. Last year’s two biggest closes – GIP III and EQT III – were multi-regional, multi-sectoral vehicles, in line with the majority of unlisted funds raised.

*Data correct as of 4 July, but final numbers may vary when we release our full H1 report in the coming weeks. Figures track unlisted funds closed by quarter – listed and open-ended vehicles are not included.