Infralogic welcome and key data points
In this opening welcome, the Infralogic team will delve into the latest market analytics for Q1 and share where they see the M&A market heading for the rest of 2023.
Opening keynote presentation
Opening panel discussion: current state of North America infrastructure investing
Money managers raised record amounts of capital for investment in infrastructure over the last year before a macro-driven slowdown in fundraising in 2H22. This panel will take a broad look at the landscape for infrastructure investing as funds seek to deploy capital in a competitive and macro-economically fraught environment.
- What does the M&A pipeline hold for investors over the next 12 months?
- What are some of the market high points, and what are areas to steer clear from? Where are current valuation benchmarks?
- How are investors handling the increased cost of acquisition financing? What type of assets can be levered in this environment?
Power, Energy & Utilities: meeting the demand for energy sustainability
Power, energy, and renewables continue to be areas of extremely high interest for infrastructure investors. But the sector has been on a roller coaster ride over the last year, starting with the debilitating impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the US Commerce Department’s solar panel investigation and ending with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a highly celebrated piece of climate legislation.
- Where are the most interesting opportunities for investment in the power and renewables sector, given the macroeconomic backdrop?
- What is the impact of the broader move to energy security following the Ukraine war? What does this mean for infra investors?
- What are investors looking for in these assets?
- How has the regulatory environment impacted investment opportunities?
Morning refreshments and networking break
Renewables: making returns amidst unparalleled energy volatility
Digging further into renewables, the M&A market remained hot for the sector for much of 2022. Infrastructure funds and well-capitalized strategics are squaring off in a quest for high-quality renewables assets, keeping valuations high even as they contend with supply chain constraints and higher interest rates.
- How have supply chain issues hampered prospects for investment in renewables?
- Will the Inflation Reduction Act accelerate investment flows into US renewables?
- Has the higher cost of capital from higher interest rates created winners and losers in renewables investment?
- How can returns be made given the unparalleled energy volatility?
Digital Infrastructure - creative investment approaches
Bucking the broader slowdown in dealmaking, fiber-optic and data center assets continued to trade at a healthy pace in 2022. Yet, headwinds remain with the threat of recession and elevated construction costs impacting earnings. In a tougher operating environment, investors are taking a more creative approach to the types of digital assets they buy and develop.
- What are the pros and cons between acquiring an existing fiber-optics operator or building one from scratch
- How are investors positioning data center assets for growth under a commodity like market structure in North America
- How do capital market and bank lender players view the communications infrastructure sector over the next 12 months?
- What do investors look for in operator management teams when vetting buying opportunities?
Finding opportunities in transportation infrastructure amid a potential recession
Transportation businesses were hot commodities in the first half of 2022 as buyers looked to acquire assets connected to changes in shipping and travel brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as activity starts to return an “old” normal, some funds are taking a more cautious approach to investing in the sector. This panel will examine opportunities in a world facing a potential shipping recession.
- Will ocean carriers continue to dominate auctions for port assets or could a slow down in shipping activity provide an opening to infrastructure funds?
- Is there still room to run in the race to consolidate fixed base operators at airports?
- Several transport assets on the block in 2022 did not find buyers. What concessions do sellers need to make to reach deals in 2023?
- What transportation assets can investors buy with an ESG angle?
LPs & fundraising: preparing for a tougher investing environment
Fundraising globally by infrastructure funds slowed dramatically in the third quarter of 2023, falling to just USD 12bn, according to Infralogic data. The drop off followed record fundraising in the first half of the year when USD 122bn was raised. The abrupt halt raises the question of whether the market is simply taking a breather or if fund managers need to prepare for a much tougher environment in 2023.
- What types of funds are LPs galavanting towards?
- How are LPs looking at energy funds compared to more general infrastructure funds?
- How much of an impact does the so-called denominator effect have on fundraising? Are some LPs willing to exceed allocation caps?
- Several GPs executed secondary deals in 2022 to hold onto assets longer. Are LPs open to more GP-led secondary transactions?
- Are there any openings for new GPs to raise inaugural funds?
Afternoon refreshments and networking break
Debt financing in a tight market
Infrastructure and energy issuers did not escape a global surge in interest rates over the past year. Debt financing has become more expensive and less available as lenders become much more selective on what deals they will finance. Big deals are still getting done, though, as shown with Brookfield’s USD 14bn term loan financing for a joint venture with Intel.
- How are investors securing debt financing in a much tighter market?
- What leverage multiples are available for M&A deals? Will the bank market reopen?
- 2022 saw a few notable bankruptcies, including Talen Energy and Compute North. Are more restructurings in store for 2023?
Close of conference and cocktail reception
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