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Related Cos. to create infrastructure-investment fund

U.S. real estate developer Related Cos. plans to create Related Infrastructure, a fund that will invest in businesses that develop and operate airports, ports, toll roads and other types of infrastructure, The Wall Street Journal reported.

To that end, the company hired two former Obama administration officials: former Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Andrew Right, who helped form the Transportation Department's Build America Bureau.

Contrary to other infrastructure initiatives by major financial businesses, Related Infrastructure will not invest capital to privatize and own stakes in roads, tunnels, airports and other core infrastructure. Instead, it will acquire stakes in construction companies, management firms and other businesses that construct and operate infrastructure owned by other public and private sources, the Journal reported.

"Our thesis was: Instead of doing the core play, we'll focus more on the infrastructure servicers, managers and developers," Right said in an interview with the Journal. Foxx and Right also told the publication that the new business will tap into the demand for upgrading and developing new infrastructure, which they said should expand even more once the Trump administration advances its plan to spend up to $1 trillion on infrastructure.

It is unclear where the capital for the fund will come from, although Related has "hundreds of millions of dollars" available for investment from its own capital and the private-equity funds it has already raised, according to the publication.

Related, which specializes in retail, office and construction, is behind the Hudson Yards mixed-use development in New York City, among other projects.