Infrastructure private equity investment funds reaching a final close in third quarter 2017 added about $7.6 billion to the year’s total, bringing 2017 slightly ahead of 2016’s three quarters total. This is a good sign for the health of the industry, given that the first quarter was dominated by the closing of the $15.8 billion Global Infrastructure Partners III. In previous years, when a huge amount of capital was committed to one fund, the industry tended to take the rest of the year off, almost as if that one fund had managed to sweep up all available capital. Although there was a significant drop-off in second quarter 2017 — the second quarter is typically noticeably lower than the first — additional closings in the first quarter, as well as second and third, have shown that relatively smaller funds are also experiencing success.
Funds reaching a final close in third quarter 2017 raised a total of $7.6 billion, bringing the total for the year to $41.4 billion. About $53.7 billion was raised by funds closing in the first three quarters of 2015, while 2016 saw $39.3 billion raised during that period. It is very possible that 2017 will surpass 2016’s annual total of $49.9 billion, but the jury is still out on whether funds closing in the fourth quarter will bring in enough capital to jump 2015’s $56.5 billion.
The data used will likely change as additional fund closings are announced, but it is safe to say that 2017 is tracking very closely to 2016 and will probably exceed last year’s total. We will be watching to see whether fourth quarter 2017 takes it past 2015, as well.
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