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ABP acquires 48 infrastructure projects in €700m transaction

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The €389bn Dutch pension fund ABP has bought 48 projects from the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF) in a €700m deal.

The investment contributes directly to the civil service scheme’s target – set in 2015 – of doubling its investments in sustainable development to €58bn in 2020, ABP said in a statement.

As at the end of 2016 these investments amounted to €41bn.

DIF is a €4.2bn Schiphol-based independent specialist investment group, focusing on infrastructure assets in the Netherlands and abroad.

Since its inception in 2005, it has launched seven funds and several co-investments for 170 projects with a total value of €25bn.

The transaction with ABP involves the entire holdings of the DIF II fund, which had been established in 2008 for a ten-year period. It comprises projects in western Europe.

The deal also includes the cross-shareholdings of twelve assets in the €800m DIF III fund, which also covers projects in the US and Canada.

Among the acquired projects are the DUO government building in Groningen, the Montaigne school in The Hague, hospitals as well as part of the A15, the main access road to Rotterdam’s ports.

The deal also includes €125m of solar and wind farms in France and Germany, which provide energy to 120,000 households.

Commenting on the transaction, Corien Wortmann-Kool, ABP’s chair, said that the investment was important to the scheme’s ESG policy for three reasons.

“We invest in local infrastructure, extend our stake in solar and wind power and also contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development goals.”

She said the package would provide “solid and stable returns for ABP’s 2.9m participants for the long term”.

ABP has been actively looking for investments that combine good returns with solutions for social and environmental issues for several years.

It said 57% of the acquired projects contribute to sustainable development goals.

DIF said it had mandated Campbell Lutyens and Loyens & Loeff as financial and legal advisors, respectively.

It added that APG, ABP’s asset manager, had requested DIF to continue managing the portfolio through a new investment vehicle for a 25-year term.

APG and PGGM last week said they have developed a “taxonomy” of investment opportunities linked to 13 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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