BlackRock has revealed its acquisition of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an infrastructure investor, in a cash and stock agreement valued at $12.5 billion. BlackRock cited emerging long-term prospects in decarbonization, energy security, digital infrastructure, and supply chain transitions as the driving forces behind this move.
Established in 2006, GIP, headquartered in New York, is the world’s largest independent infrastructure manager, managing over $100 billion in assets across infrastructure equity and credit strategies. The company focuses on investments in energy, transportation, digital, water, and waste sectors. GIP’s portfolio includes major renewables platforms like Clearway, Vena, Atlas, and Eolian, as well as ownership stakes in Gatwick, Edinburgh, and Sydney airports, data centre developers CyrusOne, waste and water circular solutions provider Suez, and rail and port operators.
This acquisition aligns with BlackRock’s recent outlook, emphasizing infrastructure as a significant investment opportunity in its 2024 Private Markets Outlook. The low-carbon transition is a key mega-theme, predicting a substantial reallocation of capital to revamp global energy systems. Sharing this perspective, GIP considers decarbonization a central element of its investment thesis.
In its announcement, BlackRock pointed out that infrastructure is anticipated to be among the fastest-growing segments of private markets in the coming years. Drivers include the rising global demand for enhanced digital infrastructure, renewed investment in logistical hubs (airports, railroads, shipping ports) due to supply chain rewiring, and worldwide decarbonization and energy security trends.
The press release also highlighted opportunities for private investors in infrastructure to engage in public-private partnerships, especially in an environment marked by significant government deficits. Additionally, the current scenario of high-interest rates encourages companies to seek partnerships to enhance returns on their embedded infrastructure assets.
After the acquisition, the combined entity will operate a global infrastructure platform exceeding $150 billion, led by the GIP management team. Bayo Ogunlesi, the Chairman and CEO of GIP, will join the board of BlackRock post-transaction closure.