* Group wants to acquire team rather than recruit-sources
* Looking to combine financing with technical skills-sources
* Banks, contractors likely targets-sources
By Greg Roumeliotis, European Infrastructure Correspondent
AMSTERDAM, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Macquarie Capital Funds, the infrastructure and real estate arm of Australian investment bank Macquarie (MQG.AX), wants to buy an asset management team in Europe, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Macquarie, one of the world’s largest investors in infrastructure, wants to acquire a whole team, rather than recruit individually, in order to quickly boost returns in its funds, the sources said.
A Macquarie spokeswoman declined to comment.
Although the group has plenty of expertise in house, Macquarie is looking for a team that combines financing skills, such as handling refinancing and swaps, with the technical knowhow of managing projects, the sources added.
“An investment bank that has such a platform but no longer wants to invest in this space would be one option,” one of the sources said.
“Several construction firms also have very sophisticated asset management teams, and it is possible that Macquarie looks there for an acquisition ,” another source added.
While Macquarie has privately made its intentions clear to several banks and funds, it is not clear if it is targeting a particular team and how much it would be willing to pay, the sources said.
Macquarie’s main unlisted vehicle for investing in European infrastructure is currently Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 3 (MEIF 3), which has so far raised more than 1 billion euros. [ID:nLC280082] (Editing by Simon Jessop)