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M&A: General Atlantic Acquires Sustainable Infrastructure Investor Actis

January 16, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Growth equity firm General Atlantic has acquired sustainable infrastructure investor Actis. Their combined goal is to "unlock opportunities for investors that lie at the intersection of the energy transition, digitization, and the shift in economic dynamism to growth markets and beyond." Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is the second major M&A deal of 2024 involving sustainable infrastructure and energy transition investment companies. The other was BlackRock acquiring Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for $12.5 billion.

Bill Ford, CEO, General Atlantic
Bill Ford, CEO, General Atlantic

The General Atlantic-Actis combination is M&A deal number 27 that Sustainable Tech Partner has covered so far in 2024. See all M&A deals involving sustainability, climate tech and green IT services listed here.

General Atlantic Acquires Actis: Implications for Sustainable Investing

Actis, founded in 2004, is based in London, United Kingdom. The company has more than 140 investment professionals across its 17 global offices and roughly $12.5 billion in assets under management (AUM). Key areas of investment include private equity, energy, infrastructure, and real estate asset classes.

General Atlantic, founded in 1980, is based in New York. The company, backed by roughly 280 investment professionals, has approximately $83 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Under the terms of the agreement, Actis will become the sustainable infrastructure arm within General Atlantic’s global investment platform, the firms said. Actis will continue to be led by its Chairman and Senior Partner, Torbjorn Caesar, and will retain independence over its investment decisions and processes with its funds operating under the existing Actis brand, General Atlantic said.

Following the combination, General Atlantic will manage approximately $96 billion of AUM across sustainable infrastructure, real estate, growth equity and credit.

General Atlantic Acquires Actis: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the deal, General Atlantic CEO Bill Ford said: “Addressing the global paradigm shift toward sustainability requires an economic transformation and a capital investment on a massive scale. With the addition of Actis, we are taking a significant step forward to add a sustainable investment capability which positions General Atlantic to capture this opportunity set for our investors. Torbjorn and the Actis team have built a business recognized for its talent, domain expertise, and commitment to investment excellence. This transaction brings together two highly complementary firms and enhances General Atlantic’s global investment platform with greater scale, broader strategies, and deeper and more local capabilities for deal sourcing and company building.”

Torbjorn Caesar, chairman & senior partner, Actis

Added Torbjorn Caesar, chairman and senior partner of Actis: “We are very excited to be joining forces with General Atlantic. The combined firm brings together distinct but highly complementary strategies that unlock long-term value for our investors across key structural themes including the energy transition and digital transition. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Both firms also have a hands-on approach to building businesses and platforms, and a shared commitment to sustainability.”

Noted Gabriel Caillaux, co-president, head of EMEA, and head of climate of General Atlantic: “We have a shared commitment to deploying capital in sustainable infrastructure and the energy transition in the decades to come. The acquisition of Actis extends our global footprint and diversifies our offering with an experienced investing team that has built a business on core tenets that align with ours: a thematic approach to investing, focus on innovation and company-building, and long-term orientation. We look forward to creating value for our investors and management teams.”

Gabriel Caillaux of General Atlantic and Michael Harrington of Actis

Concluded Michael Harrington, chief investment officer of Actis: “As active builders and operators embedded in local markets, we are excited to team up with a firm that shares our investment ethos and approach. This partnership has the potential to enhance our offering through our combined expertise, networks, and geographical scope.”

The deal is expected to close in Q2 2024.

M&A and Sustainable Infrastructure Investments

The deal surfaces roughly one week after BlackRock acquired Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for $12.5 billion.

In that deal, BlackRock gains $100 billion in assets under management (AUM) in such areas as:

  • Digital infrastructure like fiber broadband, cell towers and data centers;
  • transportation and logistical hubs such as airports, railroads and shipping ports; and
  • decarbonization, water and waste, and energy security.

Once that deal is completed, BlackRock's overall infrastructure business will have more than $150 billion under management.

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