The Top 10 Private Equity Firms for Construction

A comprehensive list of some of the best private equity firms for investment in construction and real estate, complete with information on AUM and example portfolio companies.

Posted February 29, 2024

Private Equity Firms and the Construction Industry

The intersection of private equity (PE) firms and the construction industry represents a dynamic facet of the modern financial and building landscapes. Private equity firms, known for their investment acumen and strategic business maneuvers, have increasingly recognized the construction sector's potential for sustainable growth, innovation, and profitability. This synergy not only fuels the expansion and modernization of construction practices but also introduces a level of financial discipline, operational efficiency, and technological integration previously unseen in the industry.

The involvement of PE firms in the construction industry is multifaceted, encompassing direct investments in construction companies, financing of large-scale infrastructure projects, and acquisitions of firms specializing in construction-related technologies. These firms bring to the table capital, but also expertise in governance, global market trends, and strategic planning, which can significantly accelerate growth and enhance the competitive edge of their portfolio companies. Furthermore, their focus on value creation, operational improvements, and exit strategies ensures that these construction entities are not just built to last but are also designed to evolve with changing market demands.

Top 10 Private Equity Firms for Construction

For those aspiring to carve out a career in the construction or private equity industries, understanding the key players in the sector is essential. Here, we present the top 10 private equity firms that have demonstrated a remarkable track record in construction investments:

1. Blackstone Group

The Blackstone Group stands at the forefront of private equity firms venturing into the construction sector, as it embodies a strategic approach to investment that aims to maximize innovation and growth. Renowned for its diverse portfolio and advanced investment strategies, Blackstone has adeptly navigated the construction industry's complexities, channeling substantial resources into projects and companies poised for transformative growth. Their involvement extends beyond financial backing, as they frequently actively engage in the operational and strategic facets of their construction ventures, leveraging their vast network and expertise to drive efficiency, sustainability, and technological adoption. Blackstone's commitment to the construction industry is evident in their targeted investments in infrastructure, green building initiatives, and construction technology startups, reflecting a broader vision to redefine the landscape of construction through sustainable practices and innovation.

See this video by Kathleen McCarthy, the Global Co-Head of Real Estate at Blackstone. Then read: How to Ace Your Blackstone PE Interview and How to Land a Role a Blackstone

2. Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group distinguishes itself in the construction and real estate sectors through its strategic investments in infrastructure and property development. With a keen focus on maximizing asset value and operational efficiency, Carlyle leverages its global presence and deep industry expertise to identify opportunities in emerging markets and developed economies alike. Unique to Carlyle is its ability to drive growth and innovation in its portfolio companies by integrating sustainable practices and advanced technologies, setting new standards in construction and real estate investment.

3. KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts)

KKR stands out in the construction and real estate investment landscape for its diversified approach and commitment to sustainability. The firm's investments span various sectors, including commercial real estate, infrastructure, and energy-efficient projects. What sets KKR apart is its emphasis on creating long-term value through operational improvements and strategic capital expenditure, ensuring that each project not only contributes to economic growth but also aligns with environmental and social governance (ESG) criteria.

Read How to Ace Your Accel-KKR PE Interview and How to Land a Role a Accel-KKR

4. Brookfield Asset Management

Brookfield Asset Management is a global leader in alternative asset management, with a significant footprint in the construction and real estate sectors. Brookfield's distinct approach lies in its vast, diversified portfolio of assets across renewable energy, infrastructure, and commercial real estate. The company is renowned for its operational expertise and focus on sustainable development, making it a pivotal force in shaping the future of construction and real estate through innovative and environmentally conscious investments.

5. Apollo Global Management

Apollo Global Management has carved a niche in the construction and real estate sectors with its aggressive investment strategy and operational prowess. Specializing in distressed assets, Apollo excels in transforming undervalued properties and companies into high-performing assets. What makes Apollo unique is its holistic approach to investment, combining rigorous due diligence with comprehensive operational improvements, thereby driving value creation across its real estate and construction portfolio.

6. Ares Management Corporation

Ares Management Corporation differentiates itself in the construction and real estate arena with its flexible investment strategy and deep sector expertise. Focusing on middle-market opportunities, Ares employs a hands-on approach to asset management, emphasizing value-added and opportunistic strategies in real estate. The firm's uniqueness lies in its collaborative approach, working closely with stakeholders to ensure projects not only meet market demands but also achieve superior returns on investment.

7. Global Infrastructure Partners

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is a leading investment firm specializing in infrastructure and real estate, renowned for its strategic acquisitions and asset management. GIP's unique proposition lies in its focus on critical infrastructure assets, including transportation, energy, and water systems, which are essential for economic development. The firm's expertise in large-scale projects and commitment to sustainable development positions it as a key player in promoting resilient and efficient infrastructure worldwide.

8. Oaktree Capital Management

Oaktree Capital Management is a standout firm in the construction and real estate investment space, known for its contrarian approach and focus on distressed assets. Oaktree's unique strength lies in its ability to identify and capitalize on market dislocations, delivering value through strategic repositioning and operational enhancements. With a rigorous approach to risk management, Oaktree ensures that its investments in construction and real estate not only yield high returns but also contribute to the sector's overall growth and stability.

9. Bain Capital

Bain Capital's involvement in the construction and real estate sectors is marked by its strategic investment philosophy and operational focus. The firm is adept at identifying high-potential companies and assets, leveraging its global platform and industry insights to drive transformation and growth. Unique to Bain is its value-added approach, prioritizing investments that offer opportunities for significant operational improvements, sustainability enhancements, and market expansion.

Read: How to Land a Role at Bain Capital and How to Ace Your Bain Capital PE Interview

10. Cerberus Capital Management

  • Cerberus Total AUM: $60 Billion
  • Cerberus Real Estate Investments: $40 Billion
  • Example Portfolio Companies:

Cerberus Capital Management is recognized in the construction and real estate sectors for its deep operational expertise and flexible investment strategy. Specializing in distressed investing and turnaround situations, Cerberus aims to unlock value in underperforming assets through hands-on management and strategic capital infusion. What sets Cerberus apart is its commitment to innovation and efficiency, employing a comprehensive approach to asset optimization that delivers sustainable growth and profitability.

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