Aquila group acquires Thames Water stake

A consortium of North American investors led by Toronto-based manager Aquila Infrastructure Management has bought a minority stake in the UK utility.

Toronto-headquartered fund manager Aquila Infrastructure Management (Aquila) has led a consortium which has acquired an unspecified minority stake in Thames Water, the UK water utility which serves one-third of the population of England and Wales. 
 
The consortium includes Aquila’s Infrastructure Coalition fund as well as five other investors including TIAA-CREF, the US financial services firm, plus Canadian pension managers New Brunswick Investment Management Corporation and Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund. 
 
“This investment executes on our strategy to provide our clients with more direct exposure to core infrastructure assets, including providing co-investment opportunities to the investors in our fund,” said Alina Osorio, chief executive officer of Aquila, in a statement. 
 
Thames Water is the largest water and sewerage company in the UK, providing services to 14 million customers in London and the surrounding areas. It was acquired in December 2006 by Kemble Water, comprising various Macquarie funds plus pension funds and other institutional investors from Europe, Canada and Australia. 
 
Aquila was formed in 2009 and achieved a first close on its Infrastructure Coalition Program closed-ended infrastructure vehicle on C$105 million in October 2011. At the time, Osorio said the fund could reach C$500 million to C$750 million within the following 18 months to two years. 
 
The Infrastructure Coalition Program has a 20-year term and a mandate to invest in core infrastructure assets in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries globally. The concept for the programme was devised by a number of Canadian pensions and institutional investors who came together to pool resources and hire an experienced manager. 
 
In November last year, Aquila acquired the 8-megawatt (MW) Raging River hydroelectric power facility on Canada’s North Vancouver Island, bringing the hydropower generating capacity in its portfolio to 20MW.