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Press Releases from InfraNews (21 total)

Why the Eurozone Sovereign Crisis is a Bad Thing for Infrastructure Investors

By Peter Allison To say that fear stalked European financial markets during August is something of an understatement. While temperatures rose in Greece, Italy and Spain, markets headed in the opposite direction. The underlying theme was volatility. The swing in yields on ten-year Spanish and Italian government treasuries was an eye-watering 1% during one week in August. Equities dropped in value and then recovered slightly. Then they fell again. The price

Will KKR, Munich Re T-Solar Investment Kickstart Renewables M&A In Spain?

By Peter Kneller The Spanish solar market has been experiencing some strange goings-on of late, most notably KKR and Munich Re’s investment in Grupo T-Solar’s 168MW Spanish and Italian solar portfolio. The deal – one of the largest investments in an operational solar PV portfolio in the renewable energy sector’s short history - took place against the background of increased regulatory pressure in the country’s solar market. The bulk of installed solar PV

InfraNews Case Study: Multicurrency Programme Sets a Precedent for Infra Investo …

The NOK3.8bn (EUR477.8m) of sterling, dollar and kroner bonds that a venture between UBS International Infrastructure Fund and CDC Infrastructure issued in the second half of June to finance its acquisition of an 8% stake in Gassled has established a template for other recent financial investors in Norway’s offshore gas pipeline company to follow. Further bond issues to provide acquisition finance for shares in the company that ships a quarter

InfraNews Case Study: BAA Broadens its Investor Base with Inaugural US Dollar Bo …

UK airports operator BAA refinanced most of its outstanding medium-term bank debt in June with an inaugural USD1bn bond issue that significantly furthered the company’ strategic plan of broadening its investor base. The BAA funding securitisation vehicle, set up by the Ferrovial-led Airport Development and Investment (ADI) consortium in August 2008 to refinance its GBP10.3bn acquisition of the company two years earlier, has now issued significant volumes of capital markets

Why Europe’s Airport Sector is Poised for an M&A Boom

By Michael Dunning Infrastructure deals in the European airports sector have been few and far between in the last 18 months. Other than Global Infrastructure Partners’ (GIP) GBP1.5bn acquisition of the UK’s Gatwick Airport at the end of 2009 and a couple of disposals by Ferrovial – including a 65% shareholding in Naples Airport – there have been slim pickings for infrastructure investors. But that is all about to change. In

What next for infra bonds and refis amidst Europe's sovereign crises?

Infrastructure projects looking to refinance bank debt in the capital markets will face an uphill task for the rest of this year - and probably beyond - as international bond investors grow increasingly nervous about the slowing global economic recovery and the likelihood of sovereign default in the eurozone. These heightened market concerns have seen corporate-bond spreads - both investment-grade and high-yield - widen significantly over the last two months.

Sector Spotlight - Q2 2011 European Environmental Roundup

By Peter Kneller The European renewable energy sector saw a heightened number of mid-sized M&A deals in the second quarter of 2011, with a strong showing from infrastructure funds and big buyout houses. Perhaps most interestingly, the sector witnessed two infrastructure exits. At the start of June, Infigen, formally Babcock & Brown, finally managed to sell off its 128MW German wind portfolio in a EUR154m deal. The group had previously called

Europe in Crisis: Spain - A Resilient PPP Market?

InfraNews’ feature by Miguel Peña Azpilicueta, BBVA's Executive Director of Project Finance Little doubt remains as to the profound effect that the financial and sovereign debt crises, triggered by the problems in the US sub-prime market, have had on the Spanish economy. And the PPP market has been no exception. But its intrinsic strength and consistent rate of growth throughout the past decade to become one of the largest in the

Turkey: Yet To Fulfil Its Ambition

On Sunday, June 12, Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) managed to retain its position as the country’s ruling party, and also increase its share of the vote to just under 50%. Not bad for a party that had been in power for over eight years. Things, therefore, appear bright for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Prime Minister. He even has an ambitious infrastructure plan in place that includes building a

PGGM Puts Direct Investments and JVs at the Heart of its Infrastructure Investin …

By Michael Dunning GP managed infrastructure funds have been casting an anxious look over their shoulders as a growing number of institutional investors have chosen to invest directly in infrastructure assets. Direct investing, or co-investing alongside a GP managed fund, is changing the way infrastructure investors approach the asset class. It’s changing the type of investments GP managed funds make; it’s changing the focus those funds place on operating and managing

How Real a Threat to Infra Funds is the Direct Investing Phenomenon?

By Andrew Cavenagh Recent infrastructure auctions have resulted in pension funds and insurance companies outbidding infrastructure funds in order to win prominent infrastructure assets. In 2010, an Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP)/Borealis alliance won the 30-year concession to operate the high-speed rail link between London and the Channel Tunnel (High Speed One). In April this year, a venture between CNP Assurances, a French insurer, and CDC Infrastructure (the Caisse de Dépôts

The Trials And Tribulations Of The EC's Project Bond Initiative

By Brendan Malkin Everything seems to be up for grabs. The EC and the EIB spent between last September and February of this year road showing its Europe 2020 project bond initiative, a scheme which aims to encourage investment into the European project bond market. On May 3, it completed its public consultation on the details of the scheme, and now it plans to publish a comprehensive proposal on project bonds

Funds Round-Up Q1 2011: Ports, Energy Assets Dominate Q1 Infra M&A Activity

By Michael Dunning The steady ticking-over of trade in infrastructure assets continued in the first quarter of 2011 and since InfraDeals’ last infrastructure funds round-up at the end of January. Ports and other maritime infrastructure featured strongly in the deals done, with one major acquisition (Forth Ports) and another (Steam Packet Ferry Company) highlighting the dangers of overleveraged buyout structures. Transactions involving European gas assets were the main staple over the

Case Study: Macquarie’s GBP626m Moto Refinancing Taps the High-Yield Bond Mark …

By Andrew Cavenagh The Macquarie-led consortium of Australian and New Zealand pension funds that acquired the Moto motorway services chain in the UK in 2006 came under pressure in the first quarter of this year to refinance just under GBP600m of acquisition debt that was due to mature at the end of June. Some industry insiders and banking sources had expressed doubts in February that the consortium would be

EDF and Iberdrola Buybacks Suggest Renewables Upturn

By Peter Kneller The European renewable energy sector has not had a particularly happy time of late. Over the past few years renewable energy production has been battered by the effect of poor wind speeds. It has also been haunted by regulatory uncertainty as cash-strapped governments re-think generous subsidy regimes. Spain, for instance, at the end of last year applied retro-active changes to its pre-existing solar incentives. A combination of

Sector Spotlight - Q1 2011 Renewable Energy Roundup

By Peter Kneller Regulatory changes formed a large part of the news in the renewable energy sector in Europe in the first three months of the year, with incentive systems in France, Italy and the UK all being the subject of alterations. On the deals side, utilities’ sales of equity stakes in offshore wind farms continued with Dong selling off a 50% share in Anholt to Danish pension funds, while in

Is The UK Government Meeting Its Promises On Infrastructure Investment?

By Brendan Malkin Just 15 seconds into his Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) speech last October, George Osborne, the UK’s chancellor, trumpeted the need for “prioritising” investment into infrastructure. This set the tone for the rest of his speech, in which he announced plans to invest a whopping GBP200bn into the UK’s economic infrastructure and renewables sectors over the next five years. In the budget announced a couple of weeks ago, Osborne

GIP’s Gatwick Airport Bond Refinancing is a Hit with Investors

By Andrew Cavenagh The refinancing of Gatwick Airport acquisition debt in the second half of February – with GBP600m (USD980m) of bonds and a fresh bank loan for just under the same amount – has put a structure in place to fund the British airport’s future long-term finance needs with capital markets debt. The consortium, led by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), that owns Gatwick Airport sold two GBP300m (USD490m) bonds with 15-year

The Debt Selling Game

By Brendan Malkin More than ever, the fortunes of project finance lenders are in the hands of powerful forces they have little or no control over. Their ability to lend and retain large portfolios are restricted by the continuing high cost of wholesale debt, while Basel III is requiring them to significantly increase the amount of capital they retain in reserve. A combination of these factors, as well as others, is helping

What Does the Future Hold for Infrastructure Investors?

In early February InfraNews hosted its fifth Infrastructure Investors Forum: Europe (IIF Europe) in which fund managers, direct investors and banks talked about their hopes and fears for the next 12 months. The conference heard how infrastructure investors have the dilemma of trying to outperform a market still hampered by financial uncertainty, and capitalize on a wealth of investment opportunities at the same time. The conclusion was that investors needed

UK Infra Still Under Pressure Despite Fundraising Frenzy

Two trends have marked the world of infrastructure investing in recent months. On the face of it, both of them should be good news for the market. In the wake of recent history, however, both of them raise questions about whether these events are concealing something deep beneath the surface of the news. They also raise doubts about what has emerged as conventional wisdom in the sector. The trends are the

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