Infra-like assets: yes, no, maybe…

Incursions into the edges of the market and the debate around what, exactly, constitutes infrastructure have been with us since the dawn of the asset class. But with more money coming into infrastructure than ever, we ask three LPs for their take on what these assets are.

Much has been written (including by us) on the fast-growing ‘infrastructure-like’ side of the market. That is, those assets that have enough infrastructure characteristics to attract and repulse the market in equal measure. 

One recent – no doubt highly debatable – example: Antin Infrastructure Partners’ acquisition of Norway-based Sølvtrans, the world’s largest wellboat company for the transport of live salmon and trout. Another: I Squared Capital’s acquisition of truck-trailer leasing company TIP. There are so many others we could list, that we could probably fill the whole magazine with this topic. 

Regardless of the more metaphysical debate about whether these assets really are infrastructure – or what GPs’ real motivations are for chasing them – ultimately, what really matters is what LPs think of them. 

So, we’ve decided to ask them. 

Tapping three pension funds from around the world – Denmark’s €23 billion Industriens Pension, Korea’s $11 billion Public Officials Benefit Association and Australia’s A$33 billion ($24 billion; €21 billion) Hostplus – we try to shed some light on what LPs really think about the matter. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their takes are as nuanced as the subject matter being debated. 

Come for the insight, but don’t stay for a definitive conclusion.