Oaktree Alumnus Is Seeking $800 Million for Infrastructure

(Bloomberg) -- Former Oaktree Capital Group LLC managing director Chris Beall is seeking $800 million for a new infrastructure fund that will focus mostly on the U.S. and Canada, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Beall, who left Oaktree in early 2017, is working with co-founder Allison Kingsley on the venture dubbed Nova Infrastructure LLC, according to the people, who requested anonymity because the information isn’t public. A representative for Nova Infrastructure declined to comment on the fundraising.

For its debut fund, the firm anticipates investing in six to nine mid-market transactions that will entail equity checks of between $100 million to $300 million, including additional contributions from investors. It already has as many as a half-dozen deals ready for “immediate execution,” according to a document seen by Bloomberg.

Nova, which is setting up offices in New York, aims to limit competition by focusing on smaller, more complex deals, thus avoiding the “strategic herding” that can form around larger, simpler transactions. It’ll invest in transportation, energy and environmental services deals, the document shows.

Beall -- Nova’s managing partner -- is on the board of the National Passenger Rail Corp., better known as Amtrak, having been nominated by President Barack Obama in 2012 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate a year later. He joined Oaktree in 2014 as part of the firm’s acquisition of Highstar Capital LP and served on the boards of investment companies such as NGL Energy Partners and Ports America.

Infrastructure funds have been raising capital at a fast clip. Investors poured a record $37 billion into such vehicles during the third quarter, according to data provider Preqin. Dry powder -- or the amount of capital that’s able to be spent -- has climbed to $173 billion from $159 billion at the end of last year.

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