Old-timers and new beginnings

As a few studies we have covered recently have made clear, most infrastructure investors are somewhat worried about the outcome of the UK’s EU referendum. But that does not seem to have stopped all of them in their tracks.

In Europe, where fundraising news was admittedly more sparse than earlier in the year, it was a listed company that made the headlines last month: 3i Infrastructure announced plans to collect up to £350 million ($506 million; €444 million) through an open offer, placing and intermediate offer on the London Stock Exchange. Proceeds from the transaction, which comes after the company agreed to acquire 50 percent of Brussels-based airport ground support equipment lessor TCR and 36 percent of UK telecom masts owner Wireless Infrastructure Group, will go towards funding these two investments.

It also emerged that sustainable manager SUSI Partners has already deployed €100 million from its second renewable energy fund, which it is looking to close on up to €400 million by the end of the second quarter. 

Environmental investing also got a hearing on the other side of the planet, with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), a renewable financier created by the Australian government, receiving the green light to create the A$1 billion ($734 million; €642 million) Clean Energy Innovation Fund. Jointly managed by CEFC and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the vehicle will invest up to A$100 million a year in clean energy projects and businesses in both equity and debt. Also Down Under, Melbourne-based Lighthouse Infrastructure launched an A$100 million solar vehicle to help it build a 100MW portfolio.

There were promises of new beginnings elsewhere in the region, with CapAsia pondering the launch of a fourth infrastructure vehicle, after its third is fully deployed by the end of this year. The firm has so far invested 50 percent of Fund III, which held its final close on $100 million in March 2015, in various assets across South-East Asia. In Africa, meanwhile, infrastructure debt provided exciting prospects, with Investec Asset Management winning a mandate to manage the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, a $670 million public-private partnership anchored by the UK, Dutch, Swedish and Swiss governments. 

And as usual, there was also an update from the big guns: an SEC filing revealed that Global Infrastructure Partners had raised $10.8 billion for its Fund III, which has a $12.5 billion target. Check out the accompanying column for a full Q1 fundraising summary.