In January 2020, Partners Group agreed on behalf of its clients to acquire an 80% equity stake in VSB Group, a leading European developer, owner and operator in the renewable energy sector. The company's proven development track record, strong and engaged management team, and sizable project pipeline make it an excellent fit for Partners Group's platform expansion strategy.
Clean energy, digitalization and e-mobility – these are just a few of the investment themes currently guiding our infrastructure team's bottom up sourcing efforts. Watch our interview with Esther Peiner, Managing Director, Private Infrastructure Europe, to find out how we identify and capitalize on these themes despite a challenging market environment for infrastructure investors.
"We want to lend to sectors that are stable, companies that are highly cash flow generative, but also business models that we would like to own if need be." Summarizing Partners Group's outlook for the private debt market, Alexander Ott highlights the importance of thinking like owners and applying "private-equity-style" due diligence to private debt assets in order to navigate a competitive, borrower-friendly environment.
Supported by low interest rates, valuations in the real estate market remain high despite the threat of an economic slowdown. Mike Bryant, Co-Head Private Real Estate, outlines the four themes behind Partners Group's investment approach in this environment, and explains how we balance the generation of returns from active value creation and from defensive characteristics such as rent collection.
How do you stay ahead of the pack in a highly competitive private equity market? According to Christina Han, Head of Investment Research at Partners Group, the key is Thematic Sourcing: digging deep into each industry vertical to identify pockets of secular growth and then mapping out the most attractive companies in these spaces early on.
During Partners Group's three-year ownership, Merkur Offshore has been transformed from a construction-ready development site to a utility-scale wind farm within the German exclusive economic zone off the North Sea coast. Now fully operational, Merkur Offshore comprises 66 turbines, which are capable of supplying green energy to approximately 500,000 households.
"While everyone loves to buy cheap, that is often not possible today. However, we can make sure that time is on our side by, one, investing in the right themes and, two, investing in assets where we can create growth." So says Roberto Cagnati, Co-Head Portfolio Management, summarizing Partners Group's private markets outlook for 2020.
Investor demand for the infrastructure asset class continues to rise, but so do asset valuations. According to Partners Group's Esther Peiner, the key to navigating this environment is focusing on investments that have a value-add component and that offer the opportunity to build value instead of buying it.
Watch Esther's interview to find out how Partners Group approaches the very hands-on job of creating value across its infrastructure portfolio through active asset management.