Vultures In the Trees- Citi Infrastructure Investors Opens Its MawSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Vultures In the Trees- Citi Infrastructure Investors Opens Its Maw

16 May 2007 at 9:02:50 PM

At one point, I remember I thought Citigroup was a bank, and one that was a United States bank. Not any more. Who's leading this new group that is going to take money and invest in... infrastructure? Americans? Nope.

The new unit, Citi Infrastructure Investors, will be co-led by Juan Bejar, who resigned last week as head of infrastructure at Spain's Ferrovial and was formerly chief executive of Spain's Cintra, and Felicity Gates, who headed up a North American infrastructure business for a Deutsche Bank affiliate.

Citi assembled some of the biggest names in the infrastructure business at the same time it is building a $3 billion fund, including $500 million of its own capital. The fund, according to a person familiar with the situation, will have only a handful of outside investors and will be focused on assets in developed markets.

So, ONLY 500 million is its own capital-whose capital is the rest? Pension funds?

Bejar, who will start work next month, most recently was also executive vice chairman of Spain's Cintra , general manager of Ferrovial Airports and a nonexecutive director of British airports operator BAA. He spent a total of 16 years with Grupo Ferrovial, one of the world's most active investors in roads, ports and other infrastructure.

I wrote about BAA the other day- They didn't want to just LEASE but to have a STAKE in ownership in assets. One has to wonder whether Mr. Bejar shares that philosophy.

Gates, who joins this week, started her 20-year career in infrastructure in Australia, where she worked for Macquarie Bank -- the world's largest infrastructure investor -- and served as head of infrastructure until becoming head of North America infrastructure at Deutsche Bank's RREEF unit. She will be based in New York.

The Citi moves come as a number of investment banks and private-equity firms target roads, bridges, ports and other infrastructure as a new source for deals. Investors are drawn to these assets because they offer high yields, stable returns and help hedge against inflation.

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