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Infrastructure Investor Awards 2021: Asia-Pacific

KKR had another dominant showing in the region this year.

All aboard: KKR made its first foray into New Zealand through bus company Ritchies Transport

Fund Manager of the Year

WINNER: KKR

SECOND PLACE: I Squared Capital
THIRD PLACE:
QIC

KKR reached a $3.9 billion close on its debut Asia-focused infrastructure fund, KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure Investors, and has committed $2.9 billion across 10 investments in the past year. Deals included its first infrastructure investments in New Zealand and Japan via bus company Ritchies Transport and chemical storage tank operator Central Tank Terminal, respectively. In addition, KKR-sponsored Indian renewable energy platform Virescent Infrastructure raised $62 million to establish the country’s first renewable energy infrastructure investment trust.


Equity Fundraising of the Year

WINNER: KKR

SECOND PLACE: Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners
THIRD PLACE: Actis

In December 2020, KKR reached a $3.9 billion close on KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure Investors, exceeding its $2 billion target. The fund is the firm’s first Asia-focused infrastructure vehicle and the largest pan-regional infrastructure fund at the time of close. Launched in June 2019, the fund secured $3.6 billion in LP commitments from global investors including public and corporate pensions, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, endowments and family offices, and has already committed 79 percent of the capital across 11 investments.


Deal of the Year

WINNER: Virescent Renewable Energy Trust (KKR)

SECOND PLACE: WestConnex (Transurban, AustralianSuper, CDPQ, CPP Investments, Tawreed Investments)
THIRD PLACE: Telstra InfraCo Towers (Morrison & Co)

KKR-backed renewable energy platform Virescent Infrastructure established India’s first renewable energy infrastructure trust last year. The InvIT, known as the Virescent Renewable Energy Trust, raised $62 million from a group of investors including KKR and Alberta Investment Management Corporation, representing a milestone in KKR’s Indian renewables strategy. KKR set up Virescent in October 2020 to acquire operating renewable energy assets in India. Its initial portfolio comprises nine operational solar projects, with an aggregated capacity of approximately 395MWp.


Energy Deal of the Year

WINNER: SK E&S (KKR)

SECOND PLACE: Sterlite Power JV (AMP Capital)
THIRD PLACE:
Queensland Curtis LNG (Global Infrastructure Partners)

In further evidence of its push into Asian markets, KKR acquired around $2 billion-worth of redeemable convertible preferred shares in SK E&S, a business that is part of South Korea’s SK Group. SK E&S has upstream operations in overseas gas field developments, as well as downstream in power generation, district energy and city gas businesses. It is also developing 2.5GW of renewable energy assets, supporting KKR’s strategy in Asia-Pacific clean energy.


60 percent by 2030: KKR’s launch of Virescent Renewable Energy Trust aims to help India achieve its clean energy target

Renewables Deal of the Year

WINNER: Virescent Renewable Energy Trust (KKR)

SECOND PLACE: Greater Changhua 1 (CDPQ, Cathay Private Equity)
THIRD PLACE:
Tilt Renewables (PowAR)

KKR established Virescent Infrastructure in 2020 as a platform to expand its renewable energy footprint in India. In 2021, the business launched India’s first infrastructure trust dedicated to renewable energy, the Virescent Renewable Energy Trust, raising $62 million from a group of investors. The deal will enable KKR to contribute further to helping India achieve its ambitious clean energy targets, which include reaching 60 percent renewable energy by as soon as 2030.


Transport Deal of the Year

WINNER: Highway Concessions One (KKR)

SECOND PLACE: WestConnex (Transurban, AustralianSuper, CDPQ, CPP Investments, Tawreed Investments)
THIRD PLACE:
North East Link Primary Package PPP (Capella Capital, DIF, GS Engineering & Construction, John Laing, Webuild)

KKR announced in July 2021 that it was acquiring Global Infrastructure Partners’ interest in Highway Concessions One, a platform managing a roads portfolio across seven states in India. The portfolio consists of seven highways covering a total length of 487 kilometres and represented the firm’s first foray into transport in the Asia-Pacific region. KKR aims to expand India’s national highway network, which serves around 40 percent of total traffic but accounts for only 2 percent of the country’s roads.


Digital Infrastructure Deal of the Year

WINNER: Indonet (Stonepeak)

SECOND PLACE: Vocus Group (Aware Super, Macquarie Asset Management)
THIRD PLACE: Vantage Data Centers (DigitalBridge Group)

Stonepeak-backed Digital Edge acquired a majority stake in Indonesian telco Indonet in 2021, investing $165 million in a deal that marked the company’s first move into the country. Indonet owns and operates fibre assets in the Jakarta metropolitan area and also has interests in data centres, with further expansion on the horizon. The company has already acquired two land plots and aims to further develop its data centre operations.


Energy Investor of the Year

WINNER: KKR

SECOND PLACE: I Squared Capital
THIRD PLACE:
Global Infrastructure Partners

KKR made several major energy investments across the region last year, among them its acquisition of South Korean energy company SK E&S for $2 billion and a follow-on investment in First Gen Corp in the Philippines. Both are committed to being clean energy providers in the long term. The firm also led the consortium set to take over Sydney-based electricity infrastructure owner Spark Infrastructure after its $5.2 billion bid was accepted by the listed company’s board in August 2021.


Renewables Investor of the Year

WINNER: KKR

SECOND PLACE: Ørsted
THIRD PLACE:
QIC

KKR had another busy year in the Asia-Pacific region, with renewable energy one of the central planks of its strategy. The firm launched India’s first infrastructure trust focused on renewable energy, the Virescent Renewable Energy Trust, and also has plans to increase renewable energy capacity at a more traditional energy company in South Korea, SK E&S.
It also completed a follow-on investment in First Gen, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers.


Transport Investor of the Year

WINNER: KKR

SECOND PLACE: I Squared Capital
THIRD PLACE:
IFM Investors

KKR invested in New Zealand bus operator Ritchies Transport in 2021, marking its first foray into the country’s infrastructure market. At the point of acquisition, Ritchies had a fleet of more than 1,600 vehicles and 42 depots. KKR’s first investment in Asia’s transport sector came earlier in the year, though, with the acquisition of GIP’s entire interest in Highway Concessions One, a platform responsible for a roads portfolio spanning seven states across India. The investment was made through the KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure Investors Fund.


Telco in Tokyo: Stonepeak purchased two data centres in the capital to win the Digital Investor award

Digital Infrastructure Investor of the Year

WINNER: Stonepeak

SECOND PLACE: DigitalBridge Group
THIRD PLACE:
Morrison & Co

Stonepeak began to expand its footprint in Asia this year with three acquisitions in the digital infrastructure sector. First, it acquired two data centre assets from South Korea’s Sejong Telecom, before following that up with the purchase of two data centres in Tokyo from Japanese telco Arteria Networks Corporation. The third deal saw it take a majority stake in Indonesian firm Indonet, which owns and operates self-built fibre assets in Jakarta.