Take a deep dive on our latest fundraising data innovation
It’s the start of the week (if you work in a UK office), we’re in the midst of one of the hottest infrastructure fundraising years ever, so what do you do? Well, if you’re one of our platinum subscribers, you can now conduct a deep dive on our fundraising charts to find out more about the data underlying those charts.
Thanks to new features developed by our in-house experts, you can now view all the different funds that make up the total raised during a specified period. And when you dig down into the ‘headline’ fundraising figure to view capital raised by specific strategies, you will have the ability to see all the funds making up the total for the strategy in question. The same applies to regions.
So, do yourself a favour and take a good look around our Live Fundraising charts here.
Stonepeak’s $2.5bn mid-market pivot
Our latest mid-market roundtable will be out with our September issue this week and there’s plenty of discussion around the increasing number of managers and larger-cap GPs moving into the space.
Enter Stonepeak, adding further fuel to this particular fire. The Pipeline understands that the group has launched Stonepeak Opportunities Fund, a vehicle targeting $2.5 billion to invest in mid-market opportunities primarily in North America, but with room to also invest in Europe. The fund would be targeting gross returns of 15-20 percent.
Stonepeak declined to comment on the fund.
Stonepeak Opportunities Fund is the firm’s third fund in market at the moment, alongside the recent launch of the open-ended Stonepeak Core Fund and Stonepeak Asia Infrastructure Fund. That’s one rather busy IR team.
NextEnergy’s first close bucks UK solar opposition
The UK solar market has come in for a rough ride this month as Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak battle it out to become the country’s next prime minister. Truss, the favourite, wants to stop “filling fields with paraphernalia like solar farms”, while Sunak pledged to not “lose swathes of our best farmland to solar farms”.
Some good news then from NextEnergy Capital, which last week reached a £327 million ($387 million; €388 million) first close on its NPUK ESG fund, which has an overall target of £500 million and a hard-cap of £1 billion, according to the group. The fund targets new-build utility scale, subsidy-free solar in the UK and is seeded with two assets with a joint capacity of 115MW.
Crucially, the fund has support from the state’s UK Infrastructure Bank, which in December pledged to invest up to £250 million, matching each LP’s commitment. Support has also come from UK pension funds and Middle East investors.
New Octopus fund backs renewables developer Exagen
Elsewhere in the UK, Octopus Energy will invest up to £35 million in Exagen, a developer of utility-scale solar and battery storage projects, which partners with farmers and landowners to build projects on their land in exchange for a rental fee.
The investment is a hybrid transaction that will see Octopus Energy acquire a 24 percent stake in the company as well as three solar farms co-located with batteries Exagen is developing with a combined capacity of 400MW.
The deal also includes the option to purchase another Exagen project under development – a 500MW battery that would be the largest in the UK, the firm said last week.
The Octopus Energy Development Partnership, the fund through which this first investment is being made, is a €220 million vehicle the firm recently launched to invest in the early-stage clean energy development.
The fund will target other companies developing solar, onshore wind and energy storage projects in the UK and across Europe, a spokeswoman for Octopus Energy told The Pipeline.
The firm did not disclose LPs investing in OEDP. However, a Companies House filing dated 22 March 2022, names Canada’s CPP Investment Board replacing Octopus Energy Holdco as an LP in OEDP.
All aboard, the hydrogen train
Our Americas Editor Zak Bentley will be hosting more than 60 investors and managers on a 1 September webinar that takes a hard look at the risk profile of clean hydrogen projects. It’s an exclusive hour-long event for members of the Infrastructure Investor Global Passport (if you’re not among the 2,000 members then learn more here).
The speakers are Noé van Hulst, chair of The International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy, Special Adviser Hydrogen at the International Energy Agency, and International Hydrogen Adviser at Gasunie; Mikaa Mered, project leader Hydrogen for Islands at Sciences Po, Hydrogen Geopolitics Adjunct lecturer at HEC/UM6P and Green Hydrogen Ambassador with the International Association for Hydrogen Energy; and Valery Tubbax, chief financial officer at InterContinental Energy. If you are a member, you can confirm your attendance here.
“Existing projects’ economics are going to be improved with higher tax credits. Our portfolios of projects under development are overnight more valuable, so there’s an incredible amount of impact.”
One US renewables actor sees an instant benefit following the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act
Slate’s latest hire will make North American impact
Jeff Rodgers will be Slate Asset Management’s newest managing director, handling North American infrastructure and growing the firm’s cities and communities impact infrastructure strategy in Canada and the US.
Rodgers joins from DIF Capital Partners, where he was a managing director responsible for rolling out the company’s North American infrastructure platform. In his 16 years in the sector, Rodgers has led over $1.2 billion of equity investments in sectors like energy transition, renewable energy, telecommunications and transportation.
Rodgers will work under London-based Christian Schmid, global head of infrastructure at Slate. Schmid joined Slate in February following nearly three years leading QIC’s efforts in utilities.
“We have an exciting opportunity to catalyse positive, meaningful change by making places where people live and work more sustainable, connected and resilient,” Rodgers stated.
It sounds like Jeff will be flying quite the Jolly Rodgers.
Spend money to make money
Industry Super Australia, an organisation that lobbies on behalf of Australia’s not-for-profit superannuation funds industry, has put a monetary figure on the benefits of owning unlisted assets.
In a report titled How Industry Super Investments Support the Australian Economy, the group said that a 40-year-old member would have around A$11,000 ($7,690; €7,667) more in their account over the past 10 years thanks to investments in unlisted assets, which could be worth well over A$130,000 at retirement. Industry funds now have more than A$100 billion invested in unlisted assets, equivalent to an exposure of around 20 percent.
But it isn’t all positive news: AustralianSuper, the country’s largest superfund, announced this month that it would increase its admin fees for members (the fees in its Balanced Fund will rise from 0.63 percent to 0.73 percent, for example).
The reason? “During the financial year ending 30 June 2022, we invested in several large infrastructure and property assets which incurred upfront costs such as stamp duty. These are assets we intend to hold for the long term but have contributed to higher investment fees for some of our investment options,” the fund said in a message to members.
So higher returns in the end – but higher fees in the here and now, too.
Brookfield inks $30bn Intel chip factory deal
Brookfield Asset Management’s infrastructure arm has welcomed a new asset type to the industry after agreeing to invest up to $15 billion in Intel Corporation’s semiconductor chip factories in Arizona.
The Canadian asset manager will partner with the semiconductor manufacturer in a deal that will see the duo invest up to $30 billion in Intel’s manufacturing expansion at its campus in Chandler. As part of the deal, Brookfield will fund 49 percent of the total project cost, with Intel funding the rest.
A statement from Intel described the arrangement as a first-of-its-kind co-investment programme. Welcoming the new partnership, Intel CFO David Zinsner highlighted semiconductor manufacturing as “among the most capital-intensive industries in the world”, while Sam Pollock, chief executive of Brookfield Infrastructure, said the deal would “form part of the long-term digital backbone of the global economy”.
First-of-its-kind for both Intel and the infrastructure market, it seems.