GIP side-steps placement agents in $6bn fundraise

Global Infrastructure Partners is raising its second fund without the help of a placement agent. The firm raised its first $5.64bn fund in 2008 with the help of Credit Suisse.

One of the largest funds being raised in the infrastructure asset class is being marketed without the help of placement agents.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is raising its second fund on its own, without the help of a placement agent, according to a market source familiar with the situation. However, GIP may still decide to hire a placement agent in the future, the source added.

The infrastructure private equity firm is initially targeting $6 billion for the vehicle, which follows on from GIP’s $5.64 billion debut fund, closed in May 2008. The first fund, which originally targeted between $4.5 billion and $5 billion, is now around 86 percent invested.

Credit Suisse helped GIP place the first fund, with the Swiss bank also acting as an anchor investor in the debut vehicle committing $500 million of equity alongside conglomerate General Electric, which contributed another $500 million.

GIP’s decision to go-it-alone for now takes a plum placement assignment off the market and comes after a year during which GIP beefed up its personnel and contact with major institutional investors around the world.

Last year, the firm hired Susan Healy, a senior member of Babcock & Brown’s Capital Markets Group, as its new head of global fundraising and investor relations. Healy was previously head of investor relations at Carlyle for 13 years.

The firm was also in dialogue throughout 2010 with major international institutional investors as it sold down its equity holding in London’s Gatwick Airport.

GIP bought the airport in a £1.5 billion in October 2009 and then sold equity stakes to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (12.7 percent), the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (15 percent) and South Korea’s National Pension Service (12 percent) and Australia’s Future Fund (17.2 percent).