Hitting new heights

Last year was a record one for infrastructure fundraising, according to figures compiled by Infrastructure Investor Research & Analytics.

In total, $48.3 billion was raised by the asset class. This beat the previous highest total of $46.4 billion in 2013 and represents an impressive bounce-back from the nadir of 2009, when less than $12.0 billion was raised.

The largest individual fundraising of 2014 was that by the Global Strategic Investment Alliance (GSIA), an unlisted co-investment infrastructure vehicle that was set up by Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) to invest in big-ticket global opportunities. GSIA collected almost $12.6 billion during the year.

Other significant capital raisings during the course of 2014 included: Energy Capital Partners ($5.0 billion); First Reserve Corporation ($3.75 billion); Macquarie Group ($3.0 billion); and Antin Infrastructure Partners ($2.9 billion).

However, while the volume of capital raised in recent years has been climbing, the capital is being raised by a smaller number of funds. From a peak of 67 managers closing funds in 2011, this number has fallen to 64 in 2012, 61 in 2013 and 53 last year.

A clear majority of funds raised in 2014 were either for global or North American opportunities, accounting for almost $22 billion and more than $16 billion respectively. It was a relatively subdued fundraising year for regions outside North America.

But while the North American region was dominant in terms of funds raised last year, many of those funds currently out fundraising will be hoping other parts of the world become attractive to investors soon. Funds currently in the market with a focus on Asia Pacific, for example, are looking to raise almost $31 billion. The target for those with a North America focus is a considerably more modest $12.6 billion.

Around half of the capital raised last year was by funds with a diversified strategy. For those with a sector-focused approach, it was a strong year for energy funds with almost $9 billion raised. A further $9.7 billion is being targeted by energy funds currently in the market, while only just over $3 billion is being targeted by those with a transport focus.