€468bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP quietly sold most of its €171m stake in Thames Water between 31 March and 31 December 2022, IPE has learnt. The pension fund had been an investor in the company since 2007.

At the end of 2022, ABP still owned a stake worth €1.4m in the troubled water firm, which faces an uncertain future as it is struggling with a £14bn debt load.

The Dutch pension fund, which has been invested in Thames Water since 2007 through an external asset manager, declined to comment on the reasons for the near-liquidation of its stake in the firm, which came shortly after the fund had engaged with Thames Water on “several issues” in 2021.

Healthcare scheme PFZW, the other Dutch investor in Thames Water, said in 2018 that its engagement with Thames Water focused on “network management and reduction of leakages”.

PFZW still owns a 2.2% stake in the firm, and declined to answer questions from IPE about its investment.

Based on the most recent valuation of Thames Water, at the end of 2021 when pension scheme USS bought an additional 8.77% stake in the company for £440m, ABP’s share in the ownership of Thames Water was equal to about 3%.

At the end of 2022, this had been reduced to less than 0.3%. It is not clear whether ABP is still holding on to this tiny stake.

The pension fund only updates its portfolio holdings with a lag of at least six months.

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