The Blackstone Group’s Strategic Partners collected $100 million for infrastructure secondaries during the fourth quarter, according to Blackstone’s earnings statement.
At the end of the third quarter in 2014, Strategic Partners disclosed it had raised a $400 million separate account for infrastructure and real assets secondaries.
Only two other dedicated infrastructure secondaries funds closed in 2014. Aberdeen raised $159 million for its Aberdeen Infrastructure Secondaries Fund and the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System partnered with Pantheon for a $100 million fund of funds.
A survey conducted by PEI’s Research and Analytics division last October revealed 39 percent of limited partners plan to start investing in the strategy in the next 12 months. LPs will look to buy secondaries assets or commit to infrastructure secondaries funds.
Buyers like AlpInvest Partners have also expressed interest in the strategy. The Carlyle-backed firm hired Justine Gordon as a managing director to focus on secondaries and co-investments in infrastructure and energy. Gordon joined in September from Guggenheim Infrastructure.
Partners Group expects infrastructure secondaries deal flow to remain steady, particularly in Europe, it said in a report earlier this month.
“Secondaries deal flow in Europe’s brownfield market – purchasing or leasing existing facilities for new production activity – has remained attractive because these investments are otherwise highly-priced,” the firm explained.
Still, the asset class accounted for only 3.8 percent of total secondaries market activity last year. Only a few sellers emerged, such as the University of Arizona Foundation and Japan Trustee Services Bank, which sold stakes in Macquarie infrastructure funds. The New Mexico Educational Retirement Board was also considering selling one of its seven infrastructure fund stakes, a source familiar with the matter said in November.