Chart of the week: More GPs raising debt funds

More debt funds are coming to market despite an historically weak fundraising record in the infrastructure space.

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Unlisted infrastructure debt funds only raised $7.4 billion between 2011 to 2014 Q1, according to PDI sister title Infrastructure Investor's Research & Analytics team. Comparing this to the $107.3 billion raised for unlisted infrastructure equity investments in the same period, the infrastructure debt fundraising space is much weaker and volatile.

However, despite a relatively low level of capital raised for infrastructure debt, GPs have been launching more debt funds in the market as they see opportunities and the chance to diversify from mainstream infrastructure investments. In fact, many of the GPs are actually first time fundraisers in this space.

21 debt funds are in the market with an aggregate target size of $19.9 billion, which is much greater than the $7.4 billion actually raised in the past three years. A majority of the debt funds (13 funds or 56%) in the market were launched in 2013. Another five funds joined in the fundraising trail in the first half of this year. Three funds were launched in 2012 and have been in the market for at least a year.

One of the most recent debt funds launched is from Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a New York-based fund manager. They are in the process of raising a debt fund that will invest in the energy, transportation, and water/wastewater. The fund is already close to reaching a first close and is targeting an eventual $2.5 billion, to invest in greenfield and brownfield assets.