PE firms seeking to attract a broader range of bidders to portfolio company sales should assess the changing needs of infra-investors.

By Tom D. Evans, John Guccione, Brendan Moylan, David J. Walker, George Venables, and Catherine Campbell

As the boundaries of what constitutes “infrastructure” assets have blurred in recent years, PE firms are more frequently encountering specialist infrastructure investors in transactions beyond asset classes traditionally viewed as “core” infrastructure, such as utilities and roads. This growing trend is evident in Antin Infrastructure’s successful sale of medical diagnostics business Amedes Group to buyers including OMERS Infrastructure and a consortium of investors, as well as Arcus Infrastructure Partners’ acquisition of crates and pallets business HB Returnable Transport Solutions. With certain infra-investors now branding themselves as “private equity infrastructure” and multiple PE houses seeking or raising infrastructure funds, these crossover deals are likely to attract attention from both PE firms and infrastructure investors for some time.

By Utku Kirklar

One of the main functions of the World Bank, a financial institution mandated with fostering the reconstruction and development of sovereign nations after the Second World War, is to extend loans to the governments (and government-owned entities) of such sovereign nations. Acting through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank plays a critical role often operating as a lender of last resort for developing countries in need of financing for important infrastructure projects. In doing so, the World Bank does not require any security from its borrowers and instead relies on the credit of the sovereign as a matter of policy. This act of good faith, however, needs to be balanced by the need of the World Bank to protect the World Bank’s interests, in particular, the priority of its debt claims in respect of the claims of other third party creditors.

According to the UN, Africa’s growth has consistently outperformed the global growth rate for the past seven years. In just eight years’ time, it is projected that the continent will boast eight of the fastest growing economies in the world.

In order to sustain this aggressive trajectory, and close the gap with the rest of the world, the World Bank estimates that the continent will require $93 billion of commercial and social infrastructural development. In the past, natural resources projects