Ex-Blackstone execs draw $1.7 bln for Stonepeak I, with TIAA-CREF support

Firm: Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners

Fund: Stonepeak Infrastructure Fund I

Target: $1B

Amount raised: $1.65B

Placement Agent: First Avenue Partners

Stonepeak exceeded its target of $1 billion and the initial hard cap of $1.5 billion for the fund.

The buyout firm raised $740 million for its first close in Oct., 2012, and started investing after that. Thus far, it has invested $300 million from the fund, plus an additional $70 million from co-investments.

Stonepeak co-founders Michael Dorrell and Trent Vichie spun the firm out of Blackstone in 2011 after working on its infrastructure investment team. Blackstone makes some infrastructure investments in the sector from its $2.5 billion Blackstone Energy Partners fund.

“We came to the conclusion our business would be better positioned as an independent firm,” Vichie said in a phone call with Buyouts.  “We drew very strong support from investors, given our position in the middle market. “

Overall, the private infrastructure market “is extremely large and offers attractive opportunities,” Vichie said.

Stonepeak’s investments include a 70 percent stake in a water desalination plant in Carlsbad, Calif, near San Diego. That plant is under construction with a price tag of $920 million. Also in its portfolio: a solar-power facility in Ontario, Canada; a terminal and barge outfit, Tidewater, in the Pacific Northwest, and a railroad terminal and storage facility in Casper, Wyoming.

Pending investments include Magnolia LNG, a Louisiana-based LNG export facility, and Paradigm Midstream, a Bakken, North Dakota-based midstream system.