Star America closes debut fund on $300m

The infrastructure investment firm closed its debut infrastructure fund, which will focus on greenfield PPPs in the US and Canada, on target.

Independent infrastructure investment firm Star America Infrastructure Partners has held a final close on its debut fund, reaching its $300 million target.

Star America Infrastructure Fund I, which, according to Infrastructure Investor Research & Analytics, was launched in January 2013, will target greenfield PPP projects in North America, the New York-based fund manager said in a statement.

It did not identify specific sub-sectors within infrastructure, but according to chief operating officer Mark Melson the fund will primarily focus on the transportation, social infrastructure and water.

The final close was achieved within a month of the firm announcing it had raised $183.2 million in a March filling with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The firm, which describes itself as a developer and manager of greenfield infrastructure assets, has already been awarded or become a partner in six PPPs since its inception. These include the South Fraser Perimeter Road in British Columbia, Canada; Portsmouth Bypass in Ohio; Northside at University of Texas in Dallas; Michigan Freeway Lighting; and the SH-288 road project in Texas.

Most recently, Star America was part of the consortium, led by Meridiam Infrastructure, awarded the Purple Line, a $2 billion light rail project in Maryland.

Based in Roslyn Heights, New York, Star America was founded by William Marino in 2011. Marino, who also serves as the firm’s chief executive, began his career in the surety field. In 1979, he founded Allied North America, a “construction only” brokerage, laying the foundation for what developed into the largest private construction surety and insurance brokerage in the US, according to Star America’s website.

Star America, which is backed by US pension funds, insurance companies and private investors, seeks “to team on public pursuits of projects on which it will supply equity or purchase equity or preferred equity positions in infrastructure assets”. It focuses on partnering with states and public agencies in delivering infrastructure projects across the transportation, social and environmental sectors, according to the statement.