Macquarie Infrastructure Partners hits one-third mark on $6bn fundraise

The US-based infrastructure fund has also completed its first deal, with the purchase of a $363m stake in Florida-based Global Tower Partners from another Macquarie-managed infrastructure fund.

Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, a US-based infrastructure fund managed by affiliates of Sydney-based Macquarie Group, has held an initial close on its second North American infrastructure fund, MIP II, which is targeting $6 billion (€4.2 billion). A person familiar with the matter said that the initial close gives the fund committed capital equal to roughly one-third of its target. 

A second close is expected in the next two months, the source said. 

On Friday, the fund completed its first transaction with the $363 million purchase of Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group’s 28.7 percent stake in Global Tower Partners, a Florida-based lessor of antenna space on nearly 3,000 communications towers. The deal included $89 million of subordinated debt. 

Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group is an Australian Stock Exchange-listed fund that owns communications infrastructure in Australia, the US and UK and, like MIP, is also managed by affiliates of Macquarie Group.

Global Tower Partners, formerly a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group, was bought in July 2007 by a Macquarie-led consortium that included Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group, as well as MIP’s first infrastructure fund. Together, the consortium acquired 100 percent of the firm in a transaction valued at about $1.4 billion. The sale of MCIG’s remaining GTP stake represents a 24x enterprise value-to-EBITDA multiple, according to a recent MCIG investor presentation. In fiscal year 2008, GTP recorded EBITDA of $57.3 million on revenues of $105.6 million. 

MIP II is also bidding for Chicago’s 50-year lease of Midway Airport as part of the Chicago Crossroads Consortium, which includes Macquarie Capital Group, MIP I and MIP II. Another Macquarie-affiliated entity, Macquarie Airports, dropped out of the consortium after posting a half-year loss last month.

The consortium was one of four shortlisted for the bid, along with others led by Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners, Citi Infrastructure Investors and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners.

MIP started raising its second fund last year after the announcement of its participation in a Macquarie-led $7.4 billion buyout of Puget Sound Energy, a Washington-based utility, in October. That deal pushed the first fund's amount of capital deployed beyond the 75 percent mark, enabling it the gorup to market its second fund, the source said.

MIP’s first fund closed on $4 billion and invested in infrastructure assets across North America, including container terminals, toll roads, utilities, communications infrastructure and waste management.