LUXEMBOURG – Ontario-based public pension scheme OMERS has made a US$40.6m (E35m) investment in Luxembourg-based car industry supplier Honsel International Technologies.

The C$34bn Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System’s private equity arm - OMERS Capital Partners (OCP) - said it had bought a minority interest in Honsel, which makes components for carmakers.

“The OCP investment was part of a consortium led by Ripplewood Holdings, a New York private equity firm that plans to build a global platform through further acquisitions,” OMERS said.

OMERS also spent $70m for a minority interest in another car parts firm, Affinia Group. It was lead co-investor in a consortium led by New York-based Cypress Group.

"We have identified the automotive sector as a global economic leader during the next decade with exceptional growth forecast for emerging economies," said OMERS Capital Partners’ president and chief executive Ian Collier.

"These investments illustrate our determination to participate in established North American and European platforms that can be strong and even dominant global players."

OCP manages a $1.5bn portfolio that is expected to expand to $4bn by 2007.

In October 2004 IPE reported that OMERS was in talks about a European private equity investment worth around 160 million euros.

The defined benefit OMERS is one of Canada's largest pension plans, providing pension services to about 342,000 members and 900 employers.