The Pipeline: EQT Core halfway there, DigitalBridge’s PIF JV and SUSI’s American Encore

EQT halfway to core target, DigitalBridge joins hands with PIF and SUSI’s $150 million American Encore. Welcome to The Pipeline, the start-the-week briefing for our valued subscribers only.

First look

EQT’s core fund raises $2.4bn
Almost a year and a half after EQT pressed the launch button on its Active Core Infrastructure vehicle, it seems fundraising is picking up pace. The fund, targeting $5 billion, appears to have raised at least $2.4 billion, according to a recent SEC filing, with Campbell Lutyens listed as a placement agent for the 25-year vehicle.

That is nearly half of the fundraising target, generating momentum for a fund whose fundraising progress was understood to initially be slower than expected. EQT declined to comment on the fundraising.

The capital raised is getting deployed, with deal activity also picking up. The vehicle’s first transaction was announced in March, teaming up with PSP Investments to agree the $3 billion take-private of communications group Radius Global Infrastructure. The following month, it found favour in the public markets again, acquiring an 82.1 percent stake in Germany-based Tion Renewables.

Core to the fore, then.

DigitalBridge and PIF team up for Middle East data centres
DigitalBridge and Public Investment Fund, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, have entered into a partnership to develop hyperscale data centres around Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Co-operation Council region. It is not clear how much capital either party has dedicated to the new partnership.

DigitalBridge CEO Marc Ganzi told us earlier this year that the Middle East was a key location for the firm moving forward: “It’s an important region. It’s not only an important region from a capital formation perspective, but also the digital transformation that’s happening in the [Gulf] is hard to ignore.”

The partnership is expected to move past data centres and explore other aspects of the digital infrastructure sector in the region in due time – macro towers, fibre, small cell and edge infrastructure are all on the menu.

We here at The Pipeline hope its love at first byte.

Octopus bets £1.5bn on Asia’s energy transition
Octopus Energy will invest £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion; €1.4 billion) in Asia’s renewables sector over the next four years and an additional £300 million to expand its existing tech innovation hub in Tokyo, the UK-based energy company announced last week.

Half of the £1.2 billion is earmarked for Japan, which it entered in 2020 and has since become its second-largest market after the UK.

The Asian investment drive will also target local LPs, with Octopus adding that it would further leverage this partnership to raise £400 million from Asia-Pacific investors over the next five years to build more UK wind and solar farms.

Octopus Energy did not specify which other Asian markets it would invest the remaining £600 million in and did not respond to a request for comment.

Triple or nothing for UK net-zero goals
An estimated £23 billion was ploughed into low-carbon investments in the UK last year, according to its newly created Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. Good news? Maybe, but not for long. DESNZ forecasts that amount will have “to increase two to three times that level by the late 2020s and 2030s” for the UK to achieve its net-zero goals, the National Audit Office revealed in a recent note.

What’s more, the government expects most of the needed increase to come from the private sector, even if it “is currently not able to estimate what the present level of private capital investment in net zero is”. It does, however, intend to “commission an external project” to track net-zero investment flows.

Right. So how is the private sector feeling about all this? Well, as we reported last week, investors with close to $1 trillion in infrastructure AUM thought an “unattractive regulatory regime” and “political instability” were the greatest barriers to investing in the UK compared to other Western European countries and the US.

It should all work out well, then.


“It begs the question of when space investment will move into the line of sight of infrastructure managers”

Gregor Paterson-Jones, CIO at Saudi Arabia’s National Infrastructure Fund, wonders whether space is the final frontier for value-add infra funds after the UK government launched a Space Infrastructure Fund.


SUSI’s $150m American Encore
SUSI Partners’ flagship fund has come back to America for more, setting its sights for its second stateside investment on Encore Renewable Energy, a developer and operator of utility-scale solar PV and battery storage. The firm has committed up to $150 million, which includes the acquisition of a majority stake, through SUSI Energy Transition Fund, with no co-investment included in the deal, SUSI told The Pipeline.

A certified B Corporation, Encore specialises in brownfield redevelopment and hopes to use SUSI’s investment to “complete its shift from project developer to independent power producer by scaling the business and further strengthening its asset base”, according to a statement from SUSI.

The move comes nearly one year after SETF’s August 2022 acquisition of a 100MW portfolio of front-of-the-meter battery storage projects in South Texas. The trip north can be chalked up to the growing offshore wind industry along the northeastern seaboard of the US.

“California and Texas have seen renewable penetration already due to their vast availability of land, and that’s what’s driven a lot of the storage economics there, which haven’t historically been there in the northeast. But over time, with more offshore wind coming into that market, we think it’s going to be a huge opportunity for storage there,” Richard Braakenburg, head of equity investments at SUSI, told The Pipeline.

How’s that for a second act?

New Schroders Greencoat JV targets 500MW of green hydrogen
Hydrogen is on the menu for Schroders Greencoat: the company has formed a partnership with Carlton Power, an independent UK developer, to construct and operate green hydrogen production schemes in the UK.

The joint platform aims to build a 500MW green hydrogen project portfolio by 2030 and has a joint initial commitment of £200 million. Carlton Power will manage the development, construction and operation of the green hydrogen projects, while Schroders Greencoat will lead on the financing side.

The move is a clear expansion of Schroders Greencoat’s more core-focused strategies, traditionally focusing on wind and solar, with selected investments also made in bioenergy.

Three schemes in the joint venture’s pipeline with a total capacity of 55MW are shortlisted for financial support from the UK Government’s Hydrogen Business Model/Net Zero Hydrogen Fund. The UK has an ambition of up to 1GW of domestic electrolytic hydrogen production capacity being in operation or construction by 2025.

Today’s letter was prepared by Bruno Alves. Zak BentleyKalliope GourntisIsabel O’Brien and Anne-Louise Stranne Petersen also contributed