JPMorgan unloads Asian infra platform

The Rohatyn Group, an emerging markets-focused specialised asset manager, has agreed to acquire JPMorgan Asset Management’s Asian infrastructure business and its India-based team for an undisclosed amount.

TRG managing director and head of India Rajeev Kalra will lead the combined group from offices in Mumbai and New Delhi, TRG said in a statement.

The platform that is being sold comprises three vehicles – Asian Infrastructure & Related Resources Opportunity Fund I and II and JPMorgan AIRRO SideCar Fund. According to Infrastructure Investor data, fund I closed on $858.5 million in 2010, slightly below its $1 billion target. AIRRO II, which was launched in 2013, had a higher target of $1.5 billion, but as of October 2014 had raised $285 million, according to an SEC filing. It is unclear what the vehicle ended up closing on.

The sidecar vehicle closed on $230 million and invests only in the transportation sector according to Infrastructure Investor data.

AIRRO I was designed to invest in the greater Asia-Pacific region, according to meeting documents of the North Dakota State Investment Board. The fund, as its name implies, would invest in core infrastructure, such as transportation; energy, both conventional and renewable; telecoms; water and wastewater; and social infrastructure. It would also invest in natural resources, such as raw materials, construction and construction-related materials and real estate “that are part of or associated with any of the installation and operation of infrastructure”, according to the meeting documents.

Like its predecessor, AIRRO II had the same mandate, but according to TRG’s statement, “AIRRO funds currently hold approximately $750 million in Indian assets across investments spanning the toll road, thermal power, renewable energy, and social infrastructure sub-sectors.”

The New York-based specialist fund manager said: “The addition of AIRRO’s portfolio of Indian infrastructure assets is a strong strategic fit with TRG’s focus on structural and special opportunities in emerging markets.”

However, it is unclear what the sale means for JPMorgan Asset Management and whether it marks a shift away from Asia, India or emerging markets in general. A spokeswoman for the firm declined to comment or to respond to questions related to the fate of AIRRO II.

TRG invests in private equity, fixed income, forestry and agriculture. In infrastructure it invests through CapAsia, a 60 percent-owned subsidiary of TRG, that focuses on Southeast and Central Asia, according to TRG’s website. CapAsia invests across the infrastructure space, taking a private equity approach and focusing on the mid-market.