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BlackRock in talks to acquire Korea’s ESG-focused IGIS Private Equity

The acquisition, if successful, will work as a springboard for BlackRock to expand eco-friendly investment across Asia

By Jul 12, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

BlackRock headquarters in the US
BlackRock headquarters in the US

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, is in talks to acquire IGIS Private Equity, a South Korea-based firm specialized in eco-friendly infrastructure investment.

According to the investment banking industry on July 11, the expected acquisition of IGIS PE by BlackRock will serve as a stepping stone for the US asset manager to expand its investment in the environmental, social and governance (ESG)-themed investments across Asia.

IGIS PE, established in 2018, is jointly owned by IGIS Asset Management Co. and a mid-size Korean construction company.

In 2019, the Korean private equity firm launched the Korea Renewable Energy Development and Operation (KREDO) to enter the renewable energy business and jointly set up a 200 billion won ($174 million) fund with Korea Electric Power Industrial Development Co. to invest in the solar and energy storage system sectors.

IGIS PE also signed a joint investment contract with SM E&C to develop an offshore wind power project off Shinan, South Jeolla Province, last year.

IGIS Asset Management
IGIS Asset Management

BLACKROCK’S GLOBAL ESG INITIATIVE

With $8.68 trillion in assets under management, BlackRock has aggressively pursued ESG-themed investments across the globe under its Chairman and CEO Larry Fink since last year.

In April this year, BlackRock Real Assets raked in $4.8 billion for its third Global Renewable Power Fund (GRP III) after receiving commitments from over 100 institutional investors at its final close.

Korean investors also joined in the BlackRock GRP III fund.

A solar farm in South Jeolla Province, Korea
A solar farm in South Jeolla Province, Korea

In April, Korea Transportation Asset Management (KOTAM) raised $185 million from five domestic institutional investors to commit to the BlackRock renewable energy fund.

The BlackRock fund has already completed an onshore wind investment in Europe, solar investment in Asia and a distributed solar generation investment in the US. GRP III also plans to invest in supporting infrastructure, including energy storage, distribution and electrified transport.

Write to A-Young Yoon at youngmoney@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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