Oaktree launches debut infrastructure fund

The US firm is said to be targeting $2bn for the vehicle, which it will raise with help from the Highstar Capital team.

California-based Oaktree Capital Management has launched its debut infrastructure fund as it seeks to capitalise on its 2014 acquisition of Highstar Capital, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

While details remain scant, Infrastructure Investor learned last autumn that the fund is expected to be managed by Ian Shapiro, managing director and portfolio manager of Oaktree's Power Opportunities investment strategies, and that it will focus on North America. 

In a February earnings call, Kirchheimer confirmed that Infrastructure Fund I will be marketed with support from the Highstar Capital team, which has been integrated into the Oaktree infrastructure platform since it was bought by the latter in June 2014. Co-portfolio managers for the infrastructure programme from the Highstar team include Christopher Beall and Scott Litman.

The total expected issuance size was not disclosed, though sources close to the firm said it will be targeting $2 billion. Oaktree Investments will place the interests but is not anticipated to receive sales commissions, according to the filing.

Oaktree has been investing in the power sector since its founding in 1995. As of March 2015, the firm had $100 billion in assets under management across all platforms and in April the firm closed its fourth Power Opportunities fund on $1 billion. In an earnings call early last year, Oaktree chief executive Jay Wintrob said the firm was targeting its “largest-ever closed-end fund marketing effort of $20 billion over 18 months”. 

The Oaktree Infrastructure Fund is based out of Los Angeles, with Oaktree chairman Howard Marks, co-chairman and chief investment officer Bruce Karsh, chief executive Jay Wintrob, and vice chairman John Frank, among those listed as the vehicle's executive officers. Oaktree vice president of legal Phillip McDermott signed the 28 March SEC filing. 

An Oaktree spokesperson declined to comment on the fundraise.