New York Continues Big Push into Infrastructure, Hand-in-Hand with Blackstone

Emerging markets, private equity get additional attention from one of the country’s largest pensions.

America’s third-largest public pension fund, the New York Common Retirement Fund, cemented a $300 million capital commitment with Blackstone’s Saudi Arabia-backed infrastructure fund recently, according to a disclosure from the state’s comptroller office.

Blackstone’s Infrastructure Partners has a unique commitment structure with a dollar-for-dollar matching system with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, with estimated total assets under management of $320 billion.

It’s part of a large-scale push into the infrastructure sector for the New York Common and follows recent commitments of $500 million to Brookfield Infrastructure Fund V, and $268 million to EQT Infrastructure IV—both investment vehicles focused on North America and Europe. 

Blackstone’s fund is targeting $40 billion in total capital commitments—$20 billion from investors and $20 billion from Saudi Arabia. It’s expected to target “control and control-oriented infrastructure investments, as well as investments in public-private partnership infrastructure projects” across energy, communications, transportation, and water and waste. Blackstone recently announced it held a final close of the inaugural fundraising phase for the fund, with $14 billion in aggregate commitments.

“These investments will allow us to deliver much-needed improvements to our nation’s infrastructure, create jobs, and enhance America’s economic growth, productivity, and global competitiveness,” said Sean Klimczak, global head of infrastructure at Blackstone.

On top of that, New York also committed $300 million to Goldberg Lindsay & Co., a North America and Western European-focused fund that seeks to make control investments in mid- to large-size companies.

It also sealed a $200 million commitment with Whitehorse Liquidity Partners III, a fund designed to make preferred equity investments in private equity portfolios as an alternative to traditional secondaries.

Other arrangements included in the disclosure included deals with NewQuest Asia Fund IV ($20 million), S Capital Opportunity Fund ($5 million), Empire GCM RE Anchor Fund ($300 million, and Motive Capital I ($20 million).

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