CDPQ acquires 20% stake in Plenary

The Canadian pension fund is reinforcing its long-standing relationship with the Australian infrastructure company, which will also issue new shares to fund future projects.

La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec  has agreed to acquire a 20 percent stake in  Plenary Group Holdings , a Sydney-based developer, owner and operator of infrastructure assets with which CDPQ has partnered on more than A$200 million ($153.5 million; €138.2 million) worth of projects since 2012.

The Montreal-based pension fund is making the investment at the parent level and not through  its recently established subsidiary CDPQ Infra , a spokesperson told Infrastructure Investor. CDPQ did not disclose financial details and its spokesperson declined to comment.

According to a joint statement issued on Tuesday, Plenary will issue new shares in order to raise capital to fund its participation into future “anticipated” projects.

“CDPQ has a close relationship with Plenary and has appreciated first-hand its robust business model and leading position in Australia, which has been a priority market for CDPQ over the past five years,” said Macky Tall, CDPQ's executive vice president for infrastructure.

The seven Plenary-originated projects on which both parties have partnered since 2012 include the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, a A$1 billion research and treatment centre delivered on-time and on-budget which opened in June.

In addition to backing Australian projects alongside Plenary, the Canadian pension fund has also  invested in the Port of Brisbane , acquiring a nearly 30 percent stake in 2013;  last year it acquired nearly 25 percent of Transgrid , the electricity transmission network of the State of New South Wales.

CDPQ has established a physical presence in Australia with the opening of a dedicated office, which operates under its subsidiary, CDPQ Sydney.

Plenary Group is also active in CDPQ's home market as well as the US, through a minority equity investment in the Plenary North American business.