Cubico launched with $2bn portfolio

Banco Santander has teamed with Canadian pensions OTPP and PSP Investments to form a London-based renewable energy and water infrastructure platform.

Cubico Sustainable Investments (Cubico) has been launched as a joint venture platform equally owned by Spanish bank Banco Santander (Santander) and Canadian pensions Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) and Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

The London-headquartered firm will manage and invest in renewable energy and water infrastructure assets globally. At launch, it has a portfolio of 19 wind, solar and water assets previously owned by Santander.

The assets, which are collectively worth more than $2 billion and have a total capacity in excess of 1,400 megawatts, are either operational, under construction or under development and are based in Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

Cubico has a 30-strong team who previously comprised the Asset & Capital Structuring (A&CS) team at Santander. Former A&CS team leader Marcos Sebares becomes chief executive officer of Cubico. In a conference call, the firm said it would be hiring new non-Santander team members in due course.

Based in London, the firm has regional offices in Milan, Sao Paulo and Mexico.

In a conference call, the firm said it would be looking to double the size of its portfolio over the coming five years.

“We have already built a strong pipeline of attractive assets to add to the platform and look forward to working with our partners over the coming years to consolidate Cubico’s position as one of the world’s leading renewable energy and water infrastructure investors,” said Sebares in a statement.

In the conference call, the firm said target returns would be “north of 10 percent” but would depend on factors such as the risk profile, stage of investment and the country in which the asset is located.

In response to a question from Infrastructure Investor, the firm said its water investments would take the form of “concession-like projects for the very long term”. It already has two water-related assets in Spain and will aim to transfer its expertise to South America.

Already active in Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay, the firm said it would also be looking to invest in Peru and Colombia in the short term.