CPPIB invests $325m in oncology giant

The Canadian pension has backed the world’s largest network of cancer treatment centres, the first foray into the healthcare sector by its relationship investments unit.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has invested $325 million in 21st Century Oncology Holdings (21st Century) through a series of convertible preferred shares.

Headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, 21st Century operates the largest integrated network of cancer treatment centres and affiliated physician practices in the world. These comprise 179 treatment centres, including 144 centres in the US and 35 centres in six Latin American countries.

The investment was sealed by CPPIB’s relationship investment unit, which makes significant minority investments – pursued with a view to foster “transformative growth”, according to CPPIB’s website – in public companies.

It is the first foray into the healthcare industry by the division, the portfolio of which otherwise compruises eight assets across the energy, financial services, exchanges and engineering sectors. Notable companies backed by the CAD226.8 billion (€160 billion; $203 billion) pension include financial information provider Markit, Canadian exchange operator TMX and Indian bank Kotak Mahindra.

“This investment fits well with relationship investments’ strategy to provide strategic, long-term capital to industry leading companies where CPPIB can participate in the future success of the business and help create greater value through an ongoing partnership,” said Scott Lawrence, managing director and head of relationship investments at CPPIB.

The firm will have the right to nominate two directors to 21st Century’s board upon completion of the transaction.