(Bloomberg) — General Atlantic has agreed to acquire London-based buyout firm Actis, broadening the US investor’s footprint in sustainable infrastructure investment.
The deal will expand General Atlantic’s assets under management to about $96 billion, according to a joint statement from the companies Tuesday. Actis, which manages about $12.5 billion in assets, will become the sustainable infrastructure arm within General Atlantic’s investment platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Major investment firms have been boosting their exposure to infrastructure. BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest money manager, said last week it will buy Adebayo Ogunlesi’s Global Infrastructure Partners for about $12.5 billion as it seeks to make long-term bets on energy, transportation and digital infrastructure.
Last year, Bridgepoint Group Plc agreed to acquire Energy Capital Partners, while CVC Capital Partners struck a deal for DIF Capital Partners. Investors such as pension funds are flocking to infrastructure assets ranging from power grids to toll roads as they seek investments that deliver predictable returns and guard against inflation, making the sector more attractive for large asset managers looking to build out their offerings.
As many as 10 parties had approached Actis for a potential takeover before the firm decided on a deal with General Atlantic, Torbjorn Caesar, Actis chairman and senior partner, said in a Bloomberg Television interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Caesar will continue to lead the firm after the deal.
Actis had also considered other transactions such as selling a minority stake, but chose General Atlantic in the end seeing it as more of a “plug and play” deal with no overlaps, Caesar said in a separate phone interview.
General Atlantic, best known for successful investments in tech firms including Facebook and Uber Technologies Inc., has identified climate investing as one of its core businesses. In 2022, it raised its first fund to invest in companies poised to profit from the global push to minimize carbon footprints.
“Our roots are in growth equity; we’ve added credit, we’ve added climate technology, but this is really our most significant move ,to join forces with a firm we’ve long admired,” Bill Ford, chairman and chief executive officer of General Atlantic, said in the Bloomberg TV interview. “What Torbjorn and his team have done in sustainable infrastructure has really been distinctive and is a great addition for us.”
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General Atlantic last year bought Iron Park Capital Partners, the business founded by credit pioneer Tripp Smith, and followed it up with a minority stake in Clipway, a new secondaries firm.
Bloomberg reported in December that General Atlantic confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the US and was considering listing as early as this year.
Actis has raised more than $25 billion in capital since its inception and has 17 offices globally, according to the statement. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.
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