Blackstone Explores Infrastructure-Investing Business

Blackstone Group LP is considering a new infrastructure-investing business, coming at a time when funds that invest in ports, pipelines and other public works have raised record amounts. New York-based Blackstone has already made billions of dollars of investments in this area. The firm has invested in cell towers in the U.S. and Brazil, built a natural-gas export terminal in Louisiana and a power line from Quebec to New York, and funded the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Uganda.  In those cases, Blackstone used cash from its energy and special situations funds. Now its executives are exploring adding an infrastructure-specific business, according to a person familiar with the matter.  Blackstone, the world’s largest private-equity firm, would join rivals such as Carlyle Group LP and Global Infrastructure Partners, which are soliciting investors for new multibillion-dollar infrastructure funds. Private infrastructure funds world-wide have raised a record $52 billion this year, according to Preqin. The data provider says the amount of ready-to-invest money in such funds has risen to $144 billion and counting.

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