Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ziff Brothers Investments and Partners in Energy Infrastucture Beyond CLean Line

It’s been wondered what is the Ziff Brother’s reason for investing in the Clean Line Energy Partners.  E know the management team, formerly from Horizon Wind, is “not” a wind company.  We know National Grid’s true intent is to buy these projects once Clean Line has obtained the easements.  This was hidden until Michael Skelly (Clean Line Energy’s President) was testifying before the Illinois Commerce Commission and an attorney ask a question, perhaps fishing for information. 

What about Ziff?  What do the Ziff Brothers Investments want from this business relationship?

One thing we have all learned Is everyone who supports eminent domain for Clean Line’s projects, supports it because the project will put money in their pockets.  The former Horizon Wind management probably have plans to develop wind farms again once projects are sold to National Grid.  It’s probably not a coincidence Michael Skelly’s brother-in-law didn’t go to Clean Line like the rest of the management team, but stayed at Horizon as a project developer and just recently went to Calpine Energy to start their first wind division. 

But what about the Ziff Brothers?  They turned their family fortune into 12 billion.  That’s not by accident. One investment profits another and Ziff Brothers Investments has several other energy investments that can provide capitalize off the 53% investment in Clean Line. 

The Ziffs have another capital investment company they are a partner called Tiger Infrastructure Partners.   Like Jimmy Glotfelty, the former Bush Administration Department of Energy man at Clean Line Energy Partners, Ziff Brother’s Investments in Tiger is managed by a former Bush Administration employee.  As reported by, “Emil Henry serves as the Managing Director and Managing Partner of Tiger Infrastructure Partners. Henry was the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury from 2005-2007, reporting to Henry Paulson as his superior.”

Julian Robertson, Ziff’s partner at Tiger Infrastructure  practices environmental mitigation.  Robertson has donated $40 million to the Environmental Defense Fund between 2005 and 2009, funding the EDF’s climate change agenda. 

Tiger Infrastructure Partners is an independent private equity firm focused on middle-market infrastructure investment opportunities and related businesses.

Back in 2012 Tiger developed a partnership with Kiewit Construction.  Yes, the preferred construction company of Clean Line Energy is also a business partner of another investment company that Ziff owns a major interest.  Tiger and Kiewit’s joint venture is called TKT Midstream Partners.  According to IREACH the PRnewswire,  

TKT will design, build, own and operate midstream assets and networks on behalf of North American exploration and production ("E&P") companies. The joint venture will focus on delivering the customized infrastructure design, construction, ownership and operation needed to bring hydrocarbons to market.

So, Ziff Brother’s Investment is a partner in another investment company, Tiger Infrastuctrure Partners, who has partnered with Kiewit (Clean Line Energy Partners “Engineering Procurement, and Construction Alliance Partner”) in TKTMidstream Partners.   TKT Midstream Partners develops pipeline projects to promote shale oil and natural gas production. 

What does this mean?

Clean Line Energy Partners llc likely has a specific purpose to be is so steadfast that the right of way easement are written ambiguously to allow any type of development along the easement.  Perhaps there is a bit of logic to why Clean Line Energy Partners wants to be able to allow pipelines along the right of way.  Perhaps this is the strategic interest for Ziff Brother’s Investments.  Obtain the easement and multipurpose it to develop shale’s natural gas could be a goal to profit ZBI further. 

Tiger Infrastructure Partners is also the majority investor in Hudson Fiber Network.  This Is a data transport provider (fiber optic transmission) company.  Clean Line Energy Partners plans to sublease the easements for fiber optic transmission.  It’s not surprising ZBI has such a company in their family of investments. 

One last sidenote on “environmental mitigation”, Ziff Brothers Investments (a.k.a. Ziff Asset Management) appears to have a Trustee on the Natural Resources Defense Council.  According to Stockwatch, shows ZAM Investments, controlled by Phillip B Korsant as a trustee for the Natural Resources Defense Council.  It’s good to have friends in high environmental places.

So Ziff Brothers have business associates tied to the Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resource Defense Council.   Ziff is a partner with Keiwit, the contractor for Clean Line, to develop shale infrastructure.  Ziff also is a majority owner in a fiber date transport company.  Finally, Clean Line’s proposed right of way easement contracts would support the development of fiber optic data transmission and potential natural gas sub-easements.  Coincidence?   Maybe there are alternate reasons for Ziff Asset Management to take such a keen interest in partnering in Clean Line.

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