Fiera Infra increases stake in Thames Water by C$200m

The group, a JV of Fiera Capital and Aquila Infrastructure, has increased its holdings in the UK utility to 5% with the acquisition from Australia’s State Super.

Fiera Infrastructure, a Toronto-based firm launched last year, has acquired an additional C$200 million ($148 million; €141 million) equity stake in Thames Water, a water and sewer service provider in the UK.

The firm increased its interest by investing in Thames Water’s holding company, Kemble Water Holdings. The stake was acquired from State Super, a Sydney-based pension fund, and raises Fiera Infrastructure’s share of the utility from approximately 3 percent to 5 percent.

Fiera Infrastructure, which was created last year as a joint venture of Fiera Capital and Aquila Infrastructure Management, will increase its presence on Thames Water’s board of directors as a result of the move, the firm said. Alina Osorio, the president of Fiera Infrastructure, said the deal “represents an opportunity to strengthen our long-standing relationship with Thames Water and enhance the quality and return profile of our globally diversified portfolio”.

Three affiliates of Desjardins Group, a Canadian financial cooperative, were co-investors in the deal. Desjardins head of infrastructure Frédéric Angers said the move “provides diversification and stable cashflows that perfectly align with the long-term investment objectives of our infrastructure portfolio”.

Fiera Infrastructure now holds about $425 million of equity interest in the utility. As of 2014, Thames Water’s regulatory capital value stood at £11.6 billion.

Fiera Infrastructure now has more than C$650 million in assets under management, while Fiera Capital holds over C$116 billion in AUM. Desjardins’ assets total close to C$260 billion.