In the last of our highlights posts from our 2022 AGM, Sofia Gerard, a Member of Management in our Private Equity Health & Life team, talked clients through our "speed to market" investment theme, which looks at the broad universe of businesses that seek to get therapies to patients faster and more efficiently. Sofia explains how we look at second- and third-degree derivatives on this theme in order to find the best transformational investing opportunities.
Bank regulation and large pools of capital have created a deep direct debt market with a diverse set of borrowers that offers investors a huge array of opportunities, Bill Berry, Head Private Debt at Partners Group, told clients at our AGM. However, Bill adds that in an environment where leverage is creeping up, financial covenants are being weakened, and macroeconomic risks still exist, Partners Group has generally started to think with a defensive mindset first.
"We focus on the themes that sit on the right side of disruptive change where we have the opportunity to be an early mover," Todd Bright, Co-Head Private Infrastructure Americas, told clients at our AGM in Denver. Todd explains that within decarbonization, Partners Group is going beyond the energy transition into emerging themes such as carbon capture and sequestration, energy efficiency as a service, fleet electrification, and low-carbon fuels.
What questions does a founder ask when walking into a boardroom? In this clip from our client AGM, our CEO David Layton explains that successful private equity firms will adopt the entrepreneurial mindset of a founder when governing portfolio companies. David goes on to talk about why private equity firms that adopt a thematic investing approach will be better positioned to react to shortening sales processes.
A growing number of commentators are drawing comparisons between today's diversified private markets firms and the global conglomerates of old. While some shy away from this, at Partners Group, we embrace it – in fact, we have been saying the same thing for some time. In this clip from our client AGM, Steffen Meister, our Executive Chairman, talks through some of the key learnings private markets firms can take from successful conglomerates.
Partners Group's Chief Investment Officer Stephan Schäli and Senior Economist Tina Jessop discuss what rising inflation means for private markets, how this could affect investment strategies, and why we remain focused on thematic investing to source the most attractive transformational investing opportunities.
In February 2021, Partners Group acquired Resilient Infrastructure Group, a water infrastructure platform focused on acquiring, developing, financing and operating distributed water-related facilities in the US and Canada. Partners Group will work closely with Resilient's experienced management team on key transformative initiatives, including expanding the Platform through ground-up development projects and new acquisitions, implementing best-in-class practices to increase operating efficiencies at acquired assets, and securing strategic partnerships to provide tailored solutions for municipal, institutional, commercial, and industrial customers.
In December 2020, Partners Group signed the acquisition of Careismatic Brands, the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of high-quality medical uniforms. Following the acquisition, Partners Group will work closely with the management team of Careismatic Brands to broaden the company's reach into adjacent sectors, expand into further markets across Europe and to build capabilities in higher margin, higher growth direct-to-consumer eCommerce channels.
In September 2020, Partners Group closed the acquisition of a majority equity stake in Rovensa, a leading provider of specialty crop nutrition, biocontrol and crop protection products. Following the acquisition, Partners Group will work closely with Rovensa to transform its business operations with an active industrial value creation approach and a focus on growing its portfolio of biological products. Furthermore, Partners Group sees significant upside potential in driving technological trend adoption in Rovensa.
In March 2020, Partners Group invested in VSB Group, an integrated pan-European renewable energy platform. With a 20-year track record in the sector, our vision for VSB is to become the leading European renewables platform via regional expansion, acquisitions and delivering on VSB's sizeable and executable project pipeline. Furthermore, we are thrilled to be contributing significantly to the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.
The uncertainty we see today creates challenges, but also opportunities, for companies and their investors. In this climate, we firmly believe that offense remains the best defense. Our thematic investment strategy, which targets transformative trends, combined with hands-on value creation at asset level, is guiding our investment efforts and helping us to steer our portfolios through these choppy waters.
In August 2020, Partners Group invested over AUD 180 million in equity on behalf of its clients to acquire and construct the second stage of Murra Warra Wind Farm ("Murra Warra II") in Australia. The construction is expected to be completed by mid-2022. The wind farm will comprise 38 GE Cypress 5.5MW turbines with a total nameplate capacity of 209MW, located approximately 30 kilometers north of Horsham in the state of Victoria, next to Murra Warra I.
Carmela Mondino from Partners Group's ESG & Sustainability team, discusses the firm's impact-at-scale strategy and explains how Partners Group implemented Principle 3 of the IFC Operating Principles for Impact Management – "Establish the Manager's Contribution to Impact Management" – at portfolio company Techem. Through its active ownership model, Partners Group worked hand-in-hand with Techem's management team to implement initiatives to the benefit of the environment and all stakeholders.
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.