UK - The UK's largest pension scheme, the £38bn (€47bn) BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), has acquired a minority stake in Thames Water, reportedly 13%, through its private equity and infrastructure manager Hermes GPE.

Frank Naylor, head of strategy at BTPS Management said: "Thames Water is a well established business governed by a mature, transparent regulatory regime that should provide predictable inflation linked cash flows over the long term."

Head of infrastructure at Hermes GPE, Peter Hofbauer added: "[We] look forward to working with the management of Thames Water and the board of Kemble in the future in relation to this investment and with BTPS on future domestic infrastructure investment opportunities."

Naylor said the acquisition "clearly" demonstrated the scheme's commitment to investing in UK infrastructure, at a time when such deals are highly political.

The government has repeatedly called on pension funds to contribute funds towards a number of infrastructure projects, with chancellor George Osborne last year saying he hoped to attract up to £20bn of pension assets to such developments.

During the autumn statement in November, the Treasury announced it had signed several memoranda of understanding with investors and pension fund bodies, with the National Association of Pension Funds and the Pension Protection Fund pledging to develop an infrastructure investment vehicle - the Pension Infrastructure Platform.

A second memorandum was signed by several local authority pension funds, as well as the Luxembourg-based Meridiam infrastructure fund and Hermes GPE to develop proposals aimed at "significantly increasing funding from the earliest stages of construction through to the operation and beyond".

Speaking to IPE late last year, Hofbauer called on younger pension funds in the UK to consider domestic infrastructure investment.