‘Huge opportunity’ in secondaries

Andrea Echberg of Pantheon expects to see infrastructure secondary deal flow of as much as $16bn within the next three years.

“We’re seeing a huge opportunity in the secondary market,” Pantheon’s Andrea Echberg told Infrastructure Investor in an exclusive interview for the May 2013 issue of the magazine. “It’s the kind of niche I would be looking for if I were investing in another fund manager.”

Echberg joined Pantheon, the London-based private equity and infrastructure fund of funds manager, in January this year as partner and head of European infrastructure. She was previously head of infrastructure in the principal finance team at French bank Société Générale.

While Pantheon cannot comment, it is understood that the firm is currently talking to investors about a new infrastructure fund that would be largely focused on secondaries and would likely target around €500 million.

Echberg believes the infrastructure secondary opportunity began to emerge in a notable way several years ago, when the value of the market was around $2 billion to $2.5 billion. Over the next three years from now, she expects to see deal flow of between $10 billion and $16 billion.

This would see the scale of the infrastructure secondaries market more or less in synchronisation with the longer-established private equity secondaries market, where 3 to 5 percent of primary deal flow is typically recycled into secondaries.

Echberg says: “There has been an opportunity in infrastructure secondaries for a while, but now at a better price and with vintage diversification [due to the increasing maturity of the asset class].”

To read the full interview in the May 2013 issue of Infrastructure Investor, please click here