Macquarie to launch A$1bn infrastructure fund of funds

The world's largest owner of infrastructure assets will now raise third-party capital to back infrastructure GPs around the globe.

Sydney-based Macquarie Group has plans to raise an infrastructure fund of funds, targeting initial commitments of A$1 billion (€500 million; $700 million).

The globally focused vehicle may begin committing capital as early as the middle of next year, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Headed by Macquarie division director Peter Johnston, the fund will be based in Sydney within the company's newly created funds management group, which is responsible for Macquarie's fund of funds and hedge fund activities, among other products and services.

Johnston's team is currently looking at prospective funds to invest in and getting ready to start fundraising, but initial indications are that the fund will favour investing in smaller-sized infrastructure funds that have a good ability to invest and will likely be weighted more toward Europe over the US, the person said.

Additionally, the fund will likely cap how much it will invest in its own infrastructure funds at about 20 percent, the person said.

As of 31 March 2008, Macquarie owned 116 assets infrastructure across 36 specialist listed and unlisted asset funds, according to company filings.

The fund will effectively put the weight of Macquarie, the largest private owner and operator of infrastructure assets globally, behind a growing list of alternative asset managers raising infrastructure private partnerships. The Australian bank will also join a short list of infrastructure-focused funds of funds.

Paris-based Crédit Agricole Asset Management is reportedly targeting €600 million for its debut fund of funds in the sector. French alternatives manager Unigestion, Swiss manager Partners Group and UK private equity group Pantheon Ventures also reportedly have plans for such funds.