Infra scores four of the 20 largest alternatives continuation funds

GIP’s Gatwick deal is the biggest single-asset secondaries deal ever, as affiliate title Secondaries Investor reveals its debut list of the largest continuation vehicles.

No area of alternatives has developed as rapidly as the GP-led secondaries market. Continuation funds – whether single or multi-asset – remain the market’s bread and butter, accounting for 73 percent of the $26 billion of GP-led deals closed last year, according to Greenhill.

Affiliate title Secondaries Investor, together with our colleagues at Buyouts, decided it was a good time to take stock, compiling a list of the 20 largest continuation fund deals to take place since the GP-led deal came into being.

Four of the vehicles on that list are infrastructure funds. They are led by Global Infrastructure Partners’ 2019 Gatwick Airport transaction, the largest single-asset secondaries deal. The latter saw GIP sell a 50.01 percent stake in the UK’s second-busiest airport to VINCI Airports for £2.9 billion ($4.1 billion; €3.4 billion) and roll the remainder into a continuation vehicle priced on the same terms as the M&A process. The sale valued Gatwick at 20x EBITDA.

Next on the list is Corsair Infrastructure Partners’ 2018 deal, which saw it lift three assets from its 2007-vintage infrastructure fund into separate continuation vehicles, a process worth $1.8 billion. The assets were airport developer Vantage Airport Group, Australian stevedore DP World Australia and Spanish toll-road operator Intínere Infraestructuras.

Infrastructure operator Phoenix Tower International – owned by the Blackstone’s opportunistic Tactical Opportunities Fund – was extracted into a continuation vehicle in 2019, in a $1.4 billion deal.

Lastly, Oaktree Capital Management in 2019 rolled over the remaining asset in its 2017-vintage infrastructure fund – Ports America, the country’s largest terminal operator and stevedore – into a continuation vehicle. Six new buyers bought around $650 million-worth of net asset value into the business, with existing LPs in Highstar III electing to roll around $650 million-worth of NAV into the continuation fund.

To find out more about the LPs anchoring these continuation vehicles and view the full list, click here.

Interested in learning more about how continuation funds are being used in infrastructure? Read our September 2019 Deep Dive to find out how these trilateral processes work and whether they really are a ‘win-win-win’ for all involved.