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Exclusive-Macquarie raises $6.9 billion for North America infrastructure fund

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australia's investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd adorns the main entrance to their Sydney headquarters in Australia
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By Chibuike Oguh

(Reuters) - Macquarie Group Ltd's asset management division has raised $6.9 billion for its latest fund dedicated to investing in North American infrastructure, well over its $5 billion target, the Australian bank told Reuters on Tuesday.

The fundraising was completed as U.S. lawmakers negotiate a plan to spend $1.2 trillion over five years on roads, bridges, ports and other public works projects, with some of the financing coming from private investors.

Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP) V will seek to invest in companies in the waste management, utilities, energy, transportation and communication sectors, primarily in the United States.

Macquarie's prior funds, the $5 billion Macquarie Infrastructure Partners IV and the $3 billion Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III, have returned 9.4% and 13.1% of their investors' money as of September last year, according to the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, an investor in both funds.

"MIP V is meant to be a continuation of the strategy of the previous MIP vintages. The MIP funds now span 18 years and multiple economic cycles - we really think this is our sweet spot, focusing on similar risk-profile assets and sectors," Macquarie Infrastructure Partners Chief Executive Karl Kuchel said in an interview.

Infrastructure funds targeting North American investments raised $53 billion last year. About $100 billion was raised for infrastructure globally, with funds earning a net internal rate of return (IRR) of 8.6% in the 10 years to June last year, according to industry data provider Preqin.

Macquarie has been investing in North American infrastructure since 2004 and has raised about $21 billion since then. Some recent deals include the $2.9 billion acquisition of telecoms firm Cincinnati Bell Inc and the acquisition of Utah-based renewable energy company Cyrq Energy Inc for an undisclosed amount.

Macquarie's infrastructure funds are managed by Macquarie Asset Management, which has $427 billion in assets under management spread across Australia, the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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