Macquarie, Everbright team to raise $1.5bn

The joint venture will seek capital from domestic and international investors, for an RMB fund and a US dollar fund. Both funds will have identical mandates and will co-invest together.

State-backed financial conglomerate China Everbright and Australian bank Macquarie Group has teamed up to raise two greater China-focused infrastructure funds.

Macquarie and Everbright will jointly commit up to $100 million to both funds. The funds intend to raise a combined total of $1.5 billion and are each aiming for a first close in 2010, according to a joint statement. The funds are unlisted although their lock up periods are uncertain at this stage, according to a Macquarie spokesman.

The first fund, to be denominated in US dollar, will target international investors while the other is a RMB fund targeting Chinese investors. Both funds will invest in the toll road, airport, renewable energy, water and wastewater, port and rail sectors in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. They will have identical mandates and will cooperate and invest alongside the other.

This joint venture create opportunities by leveraging Macquarie’s global infrastructure assets and funds management capabilities as well as Everbright’s knowledge and experience of China, David Russell, Macquarie’s head of private equity Asia and greater China, said in the statement. 

The partnership represents Everbright’s first foray in to the infrastructure space and is also Macquarie’s maiden fund joint venture in China, according to spokesmen from both firms.

Private capital is important to China as evidenced by the nearly 60 listed infrastructure operators, which have a combined market capitalisation of more than $150 billion, according to Chen Shuang, Everbright’s chief executive officer, in the statement.

Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund, a Singapore-listed fund managed by Macquarie has invested in Changshu Xinghua Port in 2005 and Hua Nan Expressway in 2007.

Hong Kong-listed Everbright’s operations include direct investments, asset management and investment, corporate finance and wealth management. The company has offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Beijing. Its parent company is holding company China Everbright, a state-owned enterprise.