Ancala Partners, an independent private infrastructure manager with headquarters in London, has agreed to sell a sizeable minority interest to Vontobel.

In addition to being a significant step toward achieving Vontobel’s strategic goals, the Ancala deal represents the company’s entry into institutional private markets.

With a current valuation of $1trn, the global infrastructure market is anticipated to grow at one of the quickest rates among all private market categories in the years to come.

Substantial worldwide demand for modernising critical infrastructure, such as roads, airports, and trains, combined with progressive shifts toward decarbonisation and digitisation, will be important growth drivers.

Vontobel‘s foray into the private infrastructure area will provide clients with the opportunity to diversify while benefiting from low correlation to GDP and other key asset classes, as well as good risk-adjusted returns.

Ancala has followed a similar approach since its inception in 2010, producing higher returns on investments with classic infrastructure features. The infrastructure manager’s distinct strategy focuses on identifying bilateral investment opportunities, offering downside protection, inflation-linkage, and cash income, and delivering a unique way to create long-term value inside its portfolio firms.

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Moreover, Ancala oversees 18 assets that operate in vital infrastructure areas, including as transportation, utilities, energy transition, and the circular economy, and has a total asset under management of more than €4bn ($4.3bn).

Vontobel plans to make Ancala the centrepiece of their institutional clients’ private markets offering.

With full autonomy over its investment and governance procedures, the firm will continue to be managed independently by its management team, which is led by managing partner Spence Clunie.

Both Ancala and Vontobel have arrangements in place that allow Vontobel to eventually purchase the remaining stakes, and they are fully oriented towards future growth and success.

The deal will be funded by Vontobel’s current capital and will handily exceed its goal CET1 ratio of 12%.

It is anticipated that the acquisition will close by the third quarter of 2024, pending regulatory approval.

Christel Rendu de Lint, co-CEO of Vontobel stated: “This stake in Ancala is an important milestone in the execution of our strategy. Providing access to the highly attractive private infrastructure market means clients can benefit from stable, uncorrelated, and inflation-protected cash yields, and long-term value creation through Ancala’s active asset management and proprietary origination capabilities. The company’s expertise, high-performance culture, and consistent organic growth, combined with its strong reputation in the industry, are a perfect fit for Vontobel.”

Clunie added: “Ancala is committed to a differentiated infrastructure investment strategy which delivers enhanced returns for investors looking for exposure to high-performing infrastructure investments. Vontobel’s minority investment provides us with additional capital to deploy our proven strategy while also retaining our independence and autonomy. I’m looking forward to working with Vontobel as we expand our business and aim to create more value within infrastructure companies that will support communities today and in the future.”