Credit Suisse Said to Offer Stake in Infrastructure Fund

Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, plans to sell its $500 million investment in the first fund raised by Global Infrastructure Partners as the company strengthens its capital base, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

The stake was valued at about $590 million in net assets plus uncalled capital commitments as of Sept. 30 and is in the final bidding round, said two of the people asking not to be named because the talks are private. Global Infrastructure Partners, founded in 2006, raised $5.46 billion in 2008 with commitments from Credit Suisse and General Electric.

Katherine Herring, a spokeswoman in New York for Zurich-based Credit Suisse, and Jack Cowell, a spokesman for New York-based GIP, declined to comment on the potential sale. Credit Suisse’s private fund unit is managing the process, according to another person familiar with the talks.

Financial institutions face regulatory pressure to unload riskier assets such as private equity, along with investments that aren’t central to their businesses. Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Citigroup Inc., Barclays Plc, Credit Agricole SA and HSH Nordbank AG are among firms that have turned to the secondary market to sell private-equity fund stakes in recent years.

The Swiss bank decided against investing in the firm’s subsequent fund, Global Infrastructure Partners II LP, which closed at $8.25 billion in October, making it the largest pool dedicated to infrastructure buyouts, according to two other people briefed on the situation.

GIP Sale

Global Infrastructure Partners is led by Adebayo Ogunlesi, who was previously head of investment banking at Credit Suisse First Boston, the bank’s securities unit. GIP’s first fund in December agreed to sell an interest in Access Midstream Partners LP, which owns and operates natural gas assets, to Williams Cos. for $1.82 billion.

The firm owns 42 percent of Gatwick Airport Ltd. in the U.K. and 75 percent of London City Airport, according to its website. It also invested $1.3 billion in Scotland’s Edinburgh Airport. Other holdings include East India Petroleum Ltd. and Australia’s Port of Brisbane.

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