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Bluefield Research

Private Equity's Role in Digital Water: Investor Strategies and Global Positioning

Private Equity's Role in Digital Water: Investor Strategies and Global Positioning

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The global private equity (PE) sector has grown thirteenfold since 2000, wielding increasing influence over critical infrastructure sectors. This includes strategic investments in water and wastewater services, from technology to more tangible assets like utilities and desalination plants. Amid this change, the proliferation of digital technologies across the water industry has opened new growth avenues for select PE investors. Digital water applications align with investor expectations of securing higher returns, pursuing clean-tech investment strategies, and tapping into scalable opportunities across multiple sectors.

The strengthening tailwinds behind the water sector are, once again, expected to boost PE investor interest. A combination of factors, including improved macroeconomic stability marked by favorable shifts in interest rates and inflation, has generated renewed momentum. Moreover, there is a growing consensus for more efficient infrastructure investment and management practices that can be enhanced by digital technology and services. Lastly, climate-centric investments, including water, will continue to be a driving force.

Across the tapestry of the PE landscape, discernible variations are apparent, including firm size, sector focus, geographic footprint, and growth strategies. Specialized PE investors operating in the water sector exhibit a distinct inclination toward digital water pure-plays—especially those with established positions in utility or industrial end markets. In contrast, larger and highly diversified global PE firms are positioning themselves by making investments in technology and solutions that not only apply to the water sector but also to adjacent sectors such as energy, infrastructure, and government.

Bluefield's Insight Report evaluates the investment activities of 28 leading PE firms in the global digital water market. The report delves into investment drivers and trends and provides detailed profiles and competitive analysis, encompassing portfolio assessments, market positions, and investment strategies.


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