The Pipeline: Macquarie’s new $2bn ET fund, EU’s renewable windfall tax, abrdn’s €411m second close

Macquarie's new $2 billion ET fund; EU renewables windfall taxes; and abrdn's €411 million second close. Welcome to The Pipeline, the start-the-week briefing for our valued subscribers only.

First look

Charging ahead: MGETS eyes next stage of the energy transition (Source: Getty)

Macquarie GETS next gen energy transition with new $2bn fund
We were told in a June interview with Ben Way, Macquarie Asset Management’s group head, that it would be “evaluating new opportunities that might have a different risk-return profile” for the Green Investment Group.

No sooner said than done – in comes Macquarie GIG Energy Transition Solutions, the newest investment vehicle from the unit, targeting $2 billion. Fitting within that “different risk-return profile”, MGETS is targeting a net IRR of 13 percent to 15 percent, according to documents seen by The PipelineAs is de rigueur these days, the new fund will go beyond wind and solar and towards the next phase of the energy transition. Such investments will be “more nascent and earlier stage but have infrastructure merits,” the documents state.

Seed assets could include MAM’s May investment in Inspiration Mobility Holdings, a company focused on EV infrastructure management, and last December’s deal for hydrogen firm HyCC, which the GIG did together with Nobian, The Pipeline understands.

Europe braces for a taxing winter
Autumn may not have officially begun but Europe’s feeling the chill after Russia announced it would cut off gas supplies from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline until “the collective West” lifts sanctions imposed against it. Germany acted quickly, saying it would impose a windfall tax on non-gas power producers to help fund a €65 billion relief package and ensure “random profits no longer occur or that they are skimmed off”, according to chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Last Wednesday, the Financial Times reported the European Commission is considering similar action at EU level. The commission “recommends governments impose a levy on revenues generated by non-gas electricity producers when market prices exceed €200/MWh”, the Financial Times reported, noting that the proposed threshold is less than half the current spot price for electricity in Germany – €450/MWh – the regional benchmark.

An aid package was also one of the first proposals Liz Truss made on Thursday as the UK’s new Prime Minister. The package, which is estimated to cost £150 billion (€150 billion; $173.1 billion), would cap average household energy bills at £2,500 per year. However, unlike the German and EU plan, the UK would not impose a windfall tax on renewable energy producers to fund the package, relying solely on increased borrowing instead.

abrdn raises €411m for third core fund
Core, core, core – that’s all we ever seem to write about these days. Given the surge of interest in such strategies, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the third core fund from veteran abrdn is progressing nicely, having reached a second close on €411 million against its €1 billion target, which The Pipeline understands means it’s on track to hit by the end of the year.

Considering its predecessor – the €819 million SL Capital Infrastructure Fund II – has just completed its eighth investment, a rolling stock transaction in Germany, Fund III is now ready to start deploying, with a first deal expected as early as this month.

As previously reported, the 10-year Standard Core Infrastructure III will invest in European mid-market, core and core-plus infrastructure assets. Aiming to deliver a net return of 8 percent to 10 percent, with an annual yield of 4 percent to 5 percent, the fund will focus on the energy, utilities, transport and digital sectors. Performance fees are charged at 10 percent over a 7 percent hurdle, contingent on yield delivery.

New China Everbright fund scores $100m from AIIB
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has committed $100 million to the second phase of Hong Kong-listed alternative asset manager China Everbright’s overseas infrastructure investment fund.

According to Everbright’s interim results for 2022, its Infrastructure Investment Fund II, which was launched in June with a target of $600 million, was one of a number of the company’s funds to enter “the final sprint stage” this year, running away with the AIIB’s commitment in the process.

The fund will focus on renewables, transport and telecommunications, and will mainly look to invest in Southeast Asia. According to details obtained by The Pipeline, the fund is aiming to deploy 65 percent of its capital in ASEAN countries, with up to 25 percent likely to be invested in China, and some 10 percent aimed towards developed Asian countries.

The first iteration of the fund was launched in 2017 and reached a $460 million final close in 2019.


“Critics call it ‘woke capitalism.’ There’s just one problem: they don’t seem to understand capitalism”

Michael Bloomberg hits out at the anti-ESG measures from Republican states in the US

Who’s hiring

Patrizia adopts operating partners model
Patrizia Infrastructure has restructured its team, introducing an operating partner model for its Europe and North America equity team that it says will “drive growth of its portfolio companies”.

The move will see two internal appointments: Aaron Scott to the new role of head of sustainable transformation and Wessel Schevernels to become an operating partner focused on economic infrastructure.

Also joining the team is Jean-François Willame, as an operating partner focused on digital infrastructure. Willame comes from Cube Infrastructure Managers, where he was most recently a managing director and helped to source and execute investments for the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund.

The changes will help “accelerate our growth to reach our mid-term ambition of €20 billion of infrastructure AUM over the next five years”, according to a statement from Graham Matthews, Patrizia’s chief executive of infrastructure.

Patrizia expanded its infrastructure offering with the acquisition of Whitehelm Capital in 2021, having previously been mostly focused on real estate.

Partners Group hires at the double
Partners Group has added two new MDs to its private infrastructure business – Carsten Koenig and Torborg Chetkovich – to be based in Zug, Switzerland. Koenig joins the firm from AlixPartners, while Chetkovich was most recently a partner at CapMan Infra.

Both hires have had experience filling in C-suite level roles at portfolio companies for their former employers and “are well placed to source and build the next generation of infrastructure”, according to statement from Partners Group.

CapMan, Chetkovich’s former parish, is a Nordic asset manager whose infrastructure business skews heavily towards heating and renewables. While at AlixPartners, Koenig held leadership roles at the likes of German electric utility STEAG and offshore wind specialist ABB.

So, two new partners, but no regrouping for Partners Group.


All aboard: Amber and DIF buy rolling stock firm Rail First Asset Management (Source: Getty)

Amber and DIF board Rail First
Amber Infrastructure and DIF Capital Partners have joined forces to acquire 100 percent of Rail First Asset Management, an Australian business that provides rolling stock leasing and maintenance solutions to the rail freight industry.

The firm is the only Australian manufacturer of rail wagons and owns the country’s largest intermodal fleet of more than 1,300 locomotives and wagons, with workshops in South Australia and New South Wales.

While the sale price was not disclosed, sources close to the deal told The Pipeline that its value was approximately A$400 million ($273.7 million; €272.6 million) – representing an 11x EBITDA exit multiple and approximately 4x invested capital for the seller, Anchorage Capital Partners. Anchorage bought the firm in a deal worth around A$200 million three years ago.

Today’s letter was prepared by Zak Bentley. Bruno AlvesKalliope GourntisDaniel KempTharshini Ashokan and Isabel O’Brien also contributed