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DWS works with Credit Suisse on infra GP-led

The process is focused on UK-headquartered Peel Ports Group, whose sale of a stake in 2020 to AustralianSuper valued the business at more than €4bn.

DWS is carrying out a single-asset process on a top-performing infrastructure asset.

The €793 billion asset manager is lifting UK ports operator Peel Ports Group out of the 2007-vintage Pan-European Infrastructure Fund I into a continuation vehicle as part of a process run by Credit Suisse, according two sources familiar with the matter.

Around half of PEIF I’s limited partners have opted to invest in the continuation vehicle with others considering it, according to sister title Infrastructure Investor, citing one source who noted how well the asset has performed through the covid-19 crisis and in the wake of the UK’s departure from the EU.

The Port of Lubeck and utility Yorkshire Water remain in Fund I. DWS will no longer charge management fees on the assets and will continue to look for buyers.

Peel Ports is the second-largest port group in the UK, accounting for 13 percent of the country’s total marine traffic. In February, one of Peel’s major holdings, the Port of Liverpool, opened a cargo route to Europe for logistics companies looking for alternatives to the congested ports on the south coast of the UK.

DWS owns a 49.9 percent stake in the business, with Peel Group owning the remainder, according to the company’s website.

In early 2020, Peel Group sold a 25 percent stake in itself to pension fund AustralianSuper in a deal that reportedly valued the business at £4 billion ($5.5 billion; €4.6 billion).

PEIF I is a 10-year fund with three one-year extensions. It raised €2.1 billion by final close in November 2007 from LPs such as Aberdeen Standard Investments, Lothian Pension Fund, OP Life Assurance Company, Pantheon and MUFG Bank, according to Infrastructure Investor data.

PEIF I had around $6 billion in gross net asset value as of April, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Infrastructure and real assets accounted for 5 percent of GP-led deals by volume in 2020, according to data from advisor Greenhill.

DWS and Credit Suisse did not comment on this transaction.

– Zak Bentley contributed to this report.