Infrastructure Investor Awards 2019: Global

Infrastructure Investor's annual awards, honouring fund managers, investors, deals, banks and more.

Fund Manager of the Year, Global

WINNER: Global Infrastructure Partners

Global Infrastructure Partners smashed records in December, closing the largest infrastructure fund on record with $22 billion of commitments from 240 limited partners around the world, 30 percent of which were new to the firm. Other recent highlights include the sale of a 50.01 percent stake in Gatwick Airport to France’s VINCI Airports for £2.9 billion ($3.7 billion; €3.5 billion). The firm has also turned heads with its surprise hire of World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.

SECOND PLACE: Brookfield Asset Management

THIRD PLACE: IFM Investors


Institutional Investor of the Year, Global

WINNER: CDPQ

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec made its first infrastructure investments in Chile and Brazil in 2019, acquiring a 45 percent stake in DP World Chile and partnering with French utility Engie to acquire 90 percent of Brazilian gas pipeline system Transportadora Associada de Gás for $8.7 billion. The Canadian pension fund also made its first telecom towers investment, acquiring a 30 percent stake in Vertical Bridge. Elsewhere, CDPQ increased its stake in Indian solar power developer Azure and worked on a project to combine Eurostar and Thalys to meet the demand for sustainable travel in Europe.

SECOND PLACE: Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

THIRD PLACE: Polhem Infra


Equity Fundraising of the Year, Global

WINNER: Ardian

With demand totalling more than €12 billion, Ardian exceeded the hard-cap on its fifth infrastructure fund in less than six months, closing on €6.1 billion. This makes the firm’s latest vehicle more than double the size of its €2.6 billion predecessor and the largest Europe-focused infrastructure fund raised to date. The fund attracted 125 investors from around the world, including pension funds, insurance companies, financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals. The Ardian infrastructure team now has $16 billion of assets under management.

SECOND PLACE: Macquarie Infrastructureand Real Assets

THIRD PLACE: EQT


Debt Fundraising of the Year, Global

WINNER: AMP Capital

AMP Capital closed Infrastructure Debt Fund IV, its largest-ever closed-ended vehicle, on $4 billion, surpassing its original target of $3.5 billion. An additional $1 billion in co-investment rights and another $1.2 billion from investors in separately managed accounts brought the total deployable capital for Fund IV to $6.2 billion, believed to be the largest sum amassed for investment in infrastructure mezzanine opportunities. AMP Capital’s previous infrastructure debt fund closed with $2.5 billion of commitments, plus $1.6 billion in co-investments, in 2017.

SECOND PLACE: Rivage Investment

THIRD PLACE: UBS Asset Management


Institutional Debt Provider of the Year, Global

WINNER: Allianz Global Investors

Allianz Global Investors invested roughly €2.6 billion into 16 infrastructure companies and projects during 2019, typically acting as a cornerstone or sole institutional investor. High profile projects include the Crossrail rail link across London, where AllianzGI undertook an innovative sale-and-leaseback with Transport for London to finance new trains; and CDG Express, the rail line under construction to connect central Paris to Charles de Gaulle Airport. Other key transactions include Portuguese and Spanish gas distribution projects, as well as Scandlines, which operates ferries between Germany and Denmark.

SECOND PLACE: BlackRock Real Assets

THIRD PLACE: Asset Management One Alternative Investments


Deal of the Year, Global

WINNER: Transportadora Associada de Gás (CDPQ, Engie)

The acquisition of a 90 percent stake in Brazil’s largest natural gas transportation network owner, alongside French utility Engie, is Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec’s first infrastructure investment in the country. At $8.6 billion, it was also one of 2019’s largest infra transactions. TAG has nearly 4,500 km of pipelines, 12 gas compression stations and 91 delivery points. Petrobras will continue to use TAG’s gas transportation services under existing contracts.

SECOND PLACE: Buckeye Partners

THIRD PLACE: Vodafone New Zealand


PPP Deal of the Year, Global

WINNER: Sydney Metro City & Southwest PPP (MTR, CDPQ, Marubeni, Plenary, Pacific Partnerships)

The Northwest Rapid Transit Consortium comprising MTR, CDPQ, Marubeni, Plenary and Pacific Partnerships, achieved financial close on the A$3.7 billion ($2.5 billion; €2.3 billion) City & Southwest portion of Australia’s largest public transport project. The contract package includes delivery of 23 new metro trains and core rail systems as well as A$2 billion for operations and maintenance of the combined Northwest, City and Southwest lines until 2034.

SECOND PLACE: Silvertown Tunnel PPP

THIRD PLACE: Liège Tram PPP


Renewables Deal of the Year, Global

WINNER: East Anglia ONE (Green Investment Group)

Despite a volatile UK market environment, Green Investment Group acquired a 40 percent stake in East Anglia ONE from Scottish Renewables, a subsidiary of Spanish utility Iberdrola, for just over £1.6 billion, while the 714MW offshore wind farm was still undergoing construction. It was the largest European offshore wind and renewable energy acquisition in 2019. The deal takes the number of GIG’s UK investments in offshore wind projects to 14, with a total combined capacity of 5.7GW.

SECOND PLACE: Swancor Renewables

THIRD PLACE: John Laing Environmental Assets Group


Digital Infrastructure Deal of the Year, Global

WINNER: SFR fibre-to-the-home network (Allianz Capital Partners/Altice Europe/AXA IM/OMERS)

A consortium comprising Allianz Capital Partners, Altice Europe, AXA IM and OMERS completed what was possibly 2019’s biggest digital infra deal, with an enterprise value of €3.6 billion, when it backed SFR’s fibre-to-the-home network. SFR is France’s largest alternative FTTH wholesale operator. The consortium is also acquiring Covage in a €1 billion deal that is expected to close this year. Covage, which will become part of SFR FTTH, is France’s fourth-largest fibre wholesale operator, with 2.4 million homes passed – the number of premises with which it has the capability to connect. These will be added in the next four years to SFR’s 5.4 million homes passed.

SECOND PLACE: Vodafone New Zealand

THIRD PLACE: MásMóvil fibre-to-the-home network


Placement Agent of the Year, Global

WINNER: Evercore Private Funds Group

Evercore helped raise Antin Infrastructure Partners’ fourth fund, which was already halfway to its €5 billion target in April, when it reached a first close. Evercore also continued to raise capital for the maiden infrastructure fund launched by Australia’s Pacific Equity Partners. Other successes in 2019 included Falko Regional Aircraft Opportunities Fund II, an aircraft leasing vehicle, which hit its $650 million hard-cap in under a year, surpassing its $600 million target.

SECOND PLACE: Campbell Lutyens

THIRD PLACE: First Avenue Partners


Developer of the Year, Global

WINNER: VINCI Airports

VINCI Airports completed the £2.9 billion acquisition of 50.01 percent of Gatwick Airport from GIP last year, seizing a major and rare opportunity to gain control of one of London’s hubs. The deal makes VINCI the second largest airport operator in the world with more than 240 million passengers a year in 12 countries, including 46 million at Gatwick. Following the acquisition, VINCI plans to leverage Gatwick’s experience in areas including operational efficiency and aircraft queuing management, to improve performance across all its airports.

SECOND PLACE: Orsted

THIRD PLACE: Ferrovial


Energy Investor of the Year, Global

WINNER: Partners Group

Partners Group built on a strong 2018 to invest a further €537 million into energy assets last year. The firm continued its partnership with CWP Renewables to invest in the A$500 million Bango onshore wind farm, with a capacity of 244MW. It also headed to Latin America to invest in power group EnfraGen, while realising its investment in 15 solar sites in Italy, selling the portfolio to Cubico. Other key energy deals included Partners Group’s acquisition of CapeOmega, an offshore infrastructure platform in Norway that supplies around 27 percent of Europe’s gas demand, with the largest gas reserves and resources in the North Sea, only one-third of which are in production.

SECOND PLACE: Brookfield Asset Management

THIRD PLACE: Green Investment Group


Renewables Investor of the Year, Global

WINNER: Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners realised its investment in the Veja Mate offshore wind farm north-west of Germany last year. The asset consists of 67 turbines with total capacity of 402MW. CIP also agreed to invest in a 370MW wind portfolio in Spain and launched its first emerging markets-focused fund, reaching a final close of
$1 billion. The new fund will invest in renewable energy infrastructure targeting fast-growing economies, primarily in Asia and Latin America, as well as certain countries in Eastern Europe and Africa.

SECOND PLACE: Green Investment Group

THIRD PLACE: BlackRock Real Assets


Transport Investor of the Year, Global

WINNER: Meridiam

Meridiam reached a $910 million financial close alongside Cintra on a toll road in Texas. The project involves designing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining 13 miles of highway in Tarrant County, north-east of Fort Worth. Meridiam and its partner Munich Airport were also chosen to manage Bulgaria’s Sofia Airport, vowing to invest €600 million in development. They are contracted to manage it for 35 years. In France, it partnered with Volkswagen for the buildout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across French cities.

SECOND PLACE: Oaktree Capital Management

THIRD PLACE: DIF Capital Partners


Digital Infrastructure Investor of the Year, Global

WINNER: EQT

Last year, EQT agreed a €1.7 billion deal to buy fibre infrastructure owner IP-Only, which owns and operates around 16,000 km of fibre-based network infrastructure that, together with leased lines, covers 230 out of 290 Swedish municipalities. The firm also acquired Inexio, one of the fastest-growing providers of high-speed internet to consumers and businesses in rural Germany. Further digital deals included an agreement to acquire Zayo Group for $14.2 billion alongside Digital Colony. Zayo operates a 209,214 km fibre network in the US and Europe which connects data centres.

SECOND PLACE: Macquarie Infrastructure and
Real Assets

THIRD PLACE: Digital Colony


Bank of the Year

WINNER: Crédit Agricole CIB

Crédit Agricole was among a group of 14 international lenders, joining forces with six local banks, to finance the $2 billion Formosa 2 offshore wind farm in Taiwan. After two years of development, the project will now enter the construction phase with plans for 376MW of total capacity producing clean electricity for 380,000 Taiwanese households. Back in Europe, Crédit Agricole helped bring the £1 billion Silvertown Tunnel to close, in what may well be the last major public-private partnership to take place in the UK.

SECOND PLACE: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

THIRD PLACE: BNP Paribas


Law Firm of the Year

WINNER: Clifford Chance

In Europe, Clifford Chance advised GIP on the sale of its 50 percent stake in the Gode Wind offshore wind farm, while also advising Cellnex on its £2 billion acquisition of Arqiva’s telecoms towers business; Partners Group on the acquisition of its stake in CapeOmega and APG on its acquisition of a stake in Interparking. Elsewhere, Clifford Chance advised on the Formosa 2 offshore wind financing in Taiwan, while in Latin America, it advised on Paraguay’s first public-private partnership project.

SECOND PLACE: Linklaters

THIRD PLACE: Mayer Brown


Corporate Trust Services Provider

WINNER: Wilmington Trust

Wilmington Trust closed on more than 70 deals, with total debt of more than $8 billion across many infrastructure sub-sectors, in particular, both conventional and renewable energy, with its transactions representing more than 7GW of nameplate capacity. Wilmington is also increasingly taking part in digital infrastructure transactions as the telecoms industry moves from 4G to 5G, creating a rise in demand for location-specific data centres. The importance of its role as trustee, meanwhile, continues to grow as institutional capital flows into the market at the expense of commercial banks.

SECOND PLACE: Deutsche Bank Corporate Trust

THIRD PLACE: HSBC Issuer Services