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USS, PGGM invest in portfolio of infrastructure companies

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The UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), Dutch pensions company PGGM and Canadian pension fund manager OPTrust are investing €350m in infrastructure debt for Globalvia Inversiones.

USS is investing €150m and PGGM and OPTrust are each investing €100m in the form of a convertible loan to Globalvia Inversiones – a portfolio of 20 core infrastructure companies based in seven countries.

PGGM and OPTrust are both adding to commitments of €200m each made to Globalvia in 2011, the pension funds said.

USS said the structured facility added to its growing portfolio of infrastructure debt and equity investments and matched its strategy of developing private market investment opportunities that fit well with its long-term pension liabilities.

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Gavin Merchant, senior investment manager for infrastructure at USS subsidiary USS Investment Management Limited (USSIM), said: “Our ability to invest across the capital structure has allowed the deal team to originate and execute this unique opportunity for the scheme.”

He said the Globalvia deal was an important new investment that further diversified the pension scheme’s portfolio of infrastructure assets.

Globalvia was established in 2007 and is owned by Spanish groups Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas and Bankia.

Completion of the deal is subject to approval by the European Commission.

USSIM arranged the transaction for USS, and its in-house infrastructure team will manage the investment, which USS said substantially reduced its overall cost of investing in infrastructure.

The UK pension fund said the new commitments of €350m from the three pension funds would help Globalvia expand its existing portfolio of 14 toll roads and six light rail assets.

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