Ex-Credit Suisse Infrastructure Bankers Said to Seek Debt Fund
Global Infrastructure Partners, the private-equity firm run by former Credit Suisse First Boston investment banking head Adebayo Ogunlesi, is seeking $2.5 billion for debt investments as new regulations make it more costly for banks to lend to projects such as windfarms and airports.
Steve Cheng and Reiner Boehning, previously heads of global project finance at Credit Suisse, will manage the debut credit pool for New York-based GIP, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. They will invest in loans tied to energy, transport, water, waste, greenfield and brownfield assets, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
GIP, which manages about $18.7 billion and has led acquisitions of Gatwick Airport Ltd. in the U.K. and had a stake in Australia’s Port of Brisbane, is gathering capital as institutional investors turn to private debt after bond yields shrunk to historic lows. New capital regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis are also making it more expensive for banks to originate and hold debt.
Jack Cowell, a spokesman for GIP, declined to comment on the fundraising.
Credit Suisse, which provided capital to Ogunlesi’s debut fund that closed in 2008, last year sold its stake in the pool to Lexington Partners Inc. as it sought to strengthen its capital base.
Ogunlesi, a native of Nigeria who sits on the board of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has degrees from Oxford University, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He worked as an attorney at Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP before joining Credit Suisse in 1983. His employment at the Zurich-based bank ended in December 2006 and he was a senior adviser to the firm through 2007.
GIP’s first fund was $5.6 billion. The second, which closed in 2012 at $8.25 billion, was the biggest fund of its type raised for infrastructure assets. Ogunlesi told Bloomberg News at the time that governments under fiscal pressure wouldn’t be able to invest, opening the door for private capital.
There were a record number of unlisted infrastructure debt funds in the market at the beginning of the year, according to data from London-based research provider Preqin Ltd. Twenty funds were seeking $15 billion compared with 16 funds targeting $9.7 billion in January 2013, the data shows.
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