Infrastructure Investor Awards 2019: North America

Regional awards from institutional investor of the year to digital infrastructure deal of the year.

Fund Manager of the Year, North America

WINNER: Ares Management

Ares Management’s infrastructure and power group deployed $390 million last year across five transactions that spanned the US. Completed deals included the acquisition of a 525MW wind farm development in Texas, a California-based battery storage company and a landfill gas portfolio in Pennsylvania. Ares has now completed more than 150 energy and infrastructure investments in 39 US states, and in Canada. Its deals equate to more than 40GW of power generation and transmission capability, over 1,000 miles of pipeline and more than 30,000 MMBtu/days of renewable natural gas.

SECOND PLACE: I Squared Capital

THIRD PLACE: Blackstone

Equity Fundraising of the Year, North America

WINNER: Blackstone

The first round of Blackstone’s high-profile inaugural infrastructure fund, Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, came to a close last year with $14 billion, including $7 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Blackstone set a $40 billion long-term fundraising goal when it launched the open-end vehicle in 2017. The fund invests across all infrastructure sectors including transportation, energy, communications, water and waste. Investors include a diverse mix of public and private pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, foundations and family offices. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has provided a $20 billion long-term matching anchor commitment.

SECOND PLACE: Brookfield Asset Management

THIRD PLACE: Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Deal of the Year, North America


In one of the more innovative deals of 2019, Australian firm QIC agreed to a 50-year concession with Northeastern University to manage and innovate the campus’s parking and mobility services. Innovations could include converting parking spaces into electric vehicle charging stations. The deal is the first agreement to provide for the future development of technology-enabled mobility solutions, such as an intermodal connectivity platform, in line with providing mobility-as-a-service based on commuters’ needs. MasParc is QIC’s second parking partnership in the US. In 2012, the firm formed Campus Parc, which operates all aspects of Ohio State University’s parking system, also through a 50-year agreement.

SECOND PLACE: Buckeye Partners

THIRD PLACE: Distributed Solar Development

Renewables Deal of the Year, North America

WINNER: Aviator Wind (Ares Management)

At 525MW, Aviator Wind, a project under development by Ares Management, is estimated to be the largest single-site wind project in the US. The project is 100 percent production tax credit-qualified and is contracted for the first 15 years of operations via two corporate power purchase agreements with Facebook and McDonald’s. Aviator Wind will be operational in 2020, helping Facebook reach its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent and supporting 100 percent of its operations with renewable energy this year. The company was the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy last year. Its portion of the Aviator Wind project will be 199.76MW.

SECOND PLACE: TransAlta Corporation

THIRD PLACE: Distributed Solar Development

Digital Infrastructure Deal of the Year, North America

WINNER: AT&T data centres (Brookfield Asset Management)

Brookfield’s entry into the data infrastructure space made headlines when the firm announced the acquisition of AT&T’s large-scale data centre business for $1.1 billion. For $580 million in equity, the fund manager purchased 31 co-location data facilities throughout North America and created a new business called Evoque Data Center Solutions. Brookfield has worked with Evoque to turn the portfolio into a carrier-neutral co-location business, thereby securing new customers. The centres also have new network meet-me rooms, where customers can more easily connect to carriers on other networks.


THIRD PLACE: Grain Management tower portfolio

Energy Investor of the Year, North America

WINNER: IFM Investors

In a double-digit billion-dollar acquisition, IFM Investors completed one of the largest transactions of the year when it acquired North American midstream company Buckeye Partners. For $10.3 billion, including $6.5 billion in equity, IFM Investors gained exposure to 6,000 miles of pipeline, over 100 delivery locations and 115 liquid petroleum products terminals with aggregate tank capacity of more than 118 million barrels, and a network of marine terminals located primarily in the East and Gulf coast regions of the US, as well as in the Caribbean.

SECOND PLACE: Blackstone

THIRD PLACE: Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners

Transport Investor of the Year, North America

WINNER: I Squared Capital

I Squared doubled down on its 2018 logistics purchase of TIP Trailer Services, and solidified its footprint in the North American market, by buying Trailer Wizards, a supplier of trailer rental and leasing services. Trailer Wizards is Canada’s largest national commercial trailer rental, sales and storage company. It has 21 locations including 14 customer care centres. Following the transaction, TIP’s Canadian division will have a combined fleet of more than 33,000 vehicles.

SECOND PLACE: Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

THIRD PLACE: Oaktree Capital Management

Renewables Investor of the Year, North America

WINNER: Ares Management

Ares Management’s infrastructure and power group focused heavily on the renewables sector last year, with the acquisition of a 525MW wind development in Texas; an investment in a residential solar and storage company; a portfolio of 14,000 operating residential solar assets; and the acquisition of a utility-scale solar developer, Heelstone Energy. Heelstone has so far developed and achieved commercial operations on more than 60 solar projects.

SECOND PLACE: Brookfield Asset Management

THIRD PLACE: BlackRock Real Assets

Digital Infrastructure Investor of the Year, North America


AMP Capital made the US market the site of its first data centre investment with the purchase of Expedient from Landmark Media Enterprises. Terms were not disclosed, but the acquisition of 11 fully managed data centre locations was estimated to be valued at more than $500 million. Expedient offers co-location and cloud services. Its 160,000 square feet (14,865 square metres) footprint provides 12.4MW of power.

SECOND PLACE: Digital Colony Management

THIRD PLACE: Brookfield Asset Management