HICL almost triples portfolio in five years

The UK listed infrastructure investor currently holds 40 infrastructure investments after it spent over £168m on acquisitions over the last year.

HICL Infrastructure, the UK’s first listed infrastructure investment company, turns five years old this year and is celebrating the milestone with a set of strong results for the year ending at March 31, 2011, including several new investments that have helped it to almost triple the size of its portfolio since inception.

HICL almost doubled its profit before tax this fiscal year to £45.2 million from the £25 million recorded in the year to March 31, 2010. It also grew its portfolio by 32.1 percent, valuing it at £673.1 million as at March 31, 2011.

That growth was the culmination of a year that saw HICL acquire five new investments and four incremental stakes for £151 million. Since the close of the financial year, HICL has already spent £17.2 million to purchase stakes in three UK privately financed school projects.

That brings HICL’s portfolio to 40 infrastructure investments – 38 of them operational – an almost threefold increase in size since the fund launched in 2006 with 15 infrastructure projects worth £250 million. The investments made last year also include HICL’s first Canadian deal.

HICL is being advised by InfraRed Capital Partners, the management team formerly known as HSBC Specialist Investments, which spun out of HSBC in May. As part of the agreement, the bank retained a 19.9 percent stake in the $4 billion infrastructure and real estate platform. HSBC also said it would consider commitments to future funds of InfraRed on a ‘case by case’ basis.