The Pipeline: CIM sails past target, LGIM’s infra fundraising head, Macquarie’s green aviation flight

CIM exceeds $1.5 billion target, LGIM hires fundraising head and Macquarie looks to the future for aviation fuel. Welcome to The Pipeline, the start-the-week briefing for our valued subscribers only.

First look

Downtown Los Angeles skyline

CIM sails past $1.5bn target

California-based CIM Group has exceeded the $1.5 billion target for its CIM Infrastructure Fund III, according to an SEC filing last week.

The vehicle has collected $1.7 billion and seems set to raise towards its $2.5 billion hard-cap, following a $600 million first close last July.

CIM declined to comment on the fundraising.

The North America-focused fund targets investments in renewables, digital infrastructure, waste and water management and transportation. The fund has invested in data centre operator Novva Data Centers, a data centre in Toronto alongside Stonepeak-owned Cologix and renewable natural gas platform Terreva Renewables, which in September raised a further $417 million from corporate and institutional investors as it looked to meet increasing interest.

With CIM having already doubled the size of its $818 million predecessor, which closed in 2017, it seems its increasing interest all round.

Where we’re going, we don’t need toll roads

The New South Wales government appears to be following through on a 2022 election pledge to turn away from infrastructure asset privatisations.

Following the release of modelling by the NSW Treasury that showed drivers in Sydney would pay a minimum of A$123 billion ($80 billion; €73.6 billion) in tolls to use the city’s roads by 2060, when the final privately held toll road contract expires, NSW roads minister John Graham used a speech at the Australian Financial Review Infrastructure Summit last week to promise change.

In response to a question about the potential for future toll road privatisations, Graham said: “We don’t expect to be privatising toll roads in the future. We will need to look at the way we finance road infrastructure – we will do so informed by these reviews, and we’ll be up front about what the future model is.”

Budgets are strained in Australia – but it appears future toll road sales in NSW are off the table for now.

Better late than never for UK offshore wind

The UK government was left red-faced in September when, despite repeated industry warnings, there were no bids in its latest Contract for Difference offshore wind auction. Investors, facing inflationary supply-chain costs and mounting interest rates, were not willing to meet the auction’s price cap of £44/MWh ($54.60; €50.33).

Keen to make up for lost investment and, according to a statement, “following an extensive review of the latest evidence”, which it says included supply-chain costs, it has lifted the cap for the next auction by 66 percent to £73/MWh, while the more nascent floating wind will have a cap of £176/MWh. Offshore wind, the government said, will have its own funding pot in the auction away from other renewables.

Trade body RenewableUK predicted record levels of private investment to come from the change, signalling that at least 10 projects are likely to be eligible to enter with the new conditions.

A sea change it is, then.

French PE boutique Meanings gets inaugural infra strategy

With the launch of its first infrastructure strategy, Meanings Capital Partners – a Paris-based private equity and real estate boutique spin-off from family-owned asset management group Meeschaert – follows in the footsteps of other PE houses that have taken to infra for fresh inspiration.

In the case of Meanings – as well as in AEW’s entry into infra debt – this embrace of the asset class is happening organically. The other route has been through acquisitions, as demonstrated in CVC’s take-over of DIF and Energy Capital Partners joining Bridgepoint a couple of months ago.

The Meanings Infrastructure Fund has a €400 million target, no hard-cap and is hoping for a first close and one or two deals within 18 months. It will seek controlling interests in French and European assets related to energy transition, decarbonisation and digitalisation. Ticket sizes will range between €30 million and €70 million.

New managing partner Frédéric Long will oversee the new value-add and Article 9 strategy, having joined the firm after nearly 14 years at compatriot InfraVia Capital Partners, most recently as an investment director.


“Southern [Water] has been an appalling industry performer. The company took shortcuts in its investment programme to try to save money [and] stopped investing at a time of population growth when we needed greater capacity at our wastewater treatment works”

Lawrence Gosden, CEO of the UK’s Southern Water for the past 18 months, tells The Times exactly what he thinks about his company’s historical record

Who’s hiring

LGIM’s infra ‘ambitions’ lead to new hire

Legal & General Investment Management has hired David Emes as head of infrastructure capital raising, a newly created role “to support our ambitions in the asset class”, a spokeswoman for the UK-based manager told The Pipeline.

Emes, who joins LGIM from Singapore-based Eastspring Investments, asset manager of another UK insurer, Prudential, will be actively fundraising for the Clean Power (Europe) Fund, which LGIM is raising in partnership with renewables-focused asset manager NTR. The two partners launched the Article 9 fund in October 2022 and held a first close on €390 million in April. The final target size is between €800 million and €1 billion.

LGIM and NTR have worked together since 2015, when Legal & General became a cornerstone investor in NTR’s two previous funds. The insurer has also committed €50 million in co-investment capital to the fund currently in market.

It’s a return to the UK market for Emes after stints in Abu Dhabi and Singapore. He had previously helped insurer Aviva Investors set up its own infrastructure fund programme between 2009 and 2013.


Plane flying overhead

GIG takes flight with SkyNRG

Macquarie Asset Management, via the Macquarie GIG Energy Transition Solutions (MGETS) Fund, will invest up to €175 million in SkyNRG, a sustainable aviation fuel producer. It is the firm’s first SAF investment and, as per the fund’s strategy, the latest in a series of investments in fledgling technologies across Europe, such as green hydrogen and biomethane producers.

The initial investment will be used to further SkyNRG’s goals of building SAF production facilities in Europe and the US by 2030. Offtake partners for these facilities have already been procured, with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Boeing committing up to €4 billion in SAF purchases, according to a Macquarie statement.

Macquarie added that the European blending mandate (ReFuelEU) and the Biden Administration’s SAF Grand Challenge, as well as the Inflation Reduction Act, are key tailwinds for the burgeoning industry.

MGETS launched in September 2022 targeting $2 billion and 13-15 percent returns. It is expected to reach a first close on $1.9 billion later this year and a final close in Q1 2024.

Today’s letter was prepared by Zak BentleyKalliope GourntisDaniel KempAnne-Louise Stranne Petersen and Isabel O’Brien also contributed