INPP sees opportunity aplenty for new deals

After a record investment year in 2011, the UK-listed infrastructure investment firm is expecting to see at least as much activity this year ‘and maybe much more’ according to director Giles Frost (pictured). The firm announced its annual results today.

In today’s annual results announcement, UK-listed infrastructure fund manager International Public Partnerships Limited (INPP) said it had invested £122 million (€149 million; $196 million) of new capital in 22 deals last year. This was around twice the amount that the firm had invested in the previous year.

Giles Frost, a director of INPP, said: “We don’t need to make new investments to get the returns our investors need, so we’re quite choosy – but there are periods when making a lot of investments makes sense. Sellers tended to sit on their hands for two or three years after the GFC [Global Financial Crisis] but last year many decided they couldn’t hold onto assets forever when values may not change much. We also saw governments becoming more active.”

Asked about the anticipated level of new investment activity this year, Frost replied: “I think we’ll see material activity in 2012; we’d expect at least as much [new investment] as last year – maybe much more.”

In its results announcement, INPP revealed it had increased net asset value from 113.1p in December 2010 to 116.9p. Total shareholder return for the 12 months was 9.2 percent, compared with minus 3.2 percent for the FTSE All Share index. The firm’s full-year dividend was 5.85p, representing its fifth consecutive year of dividend growth.

Frost said investors were attracted to the combination of income, inflation linkage and capital preservation that the firm was able to offer. He said the firm’s assets were not exposed to demand risk and it avoided markets where there was a high risk of government default.

Listed in 2006, INPP has built a portfolio of 117 social and transport infrastructure projects in the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia. Recent investments have included several UK offshore transmission projects and a 26.6 percent stake in Gold Coast Rapid Transit, an Australian light rail project.