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HICL secures £23m school investment

The listed vehicle has bought minority stakes in four UK school groups while increasing its controlling interests in two more.

London-listed HICL Infrastructure Company has closed investments in six UK schools in a deal totalling £22.7 million ($28.1 million; €26.5 million).

The fund has acquired a 20.4 percent stake in Bangor and Nendrum Schools, 25.5 percent in Salford Schools, 25.5 percent in East Ayrshire Schools and 25.5 percent in North Ayrshire Schools. It has also increased its interest in Manchester School and Cork School of Music and now owns 75.5 percent of both projects.

All of the schools are operational and have been acquired from German firm Hochtief. HICL said the purchase was financed through its existing cash resources and it now has a funding surplus of £11 million.

The schools were all built as PPPs with Hochtief part of a variety of consortia. Built over the last decade, together they represent about €1.3 billion of investment from Hochtief and its investment partners.

The deal was first announced in HICL’s interim financial results last week. Tony Roper, director at HICL’s investment adviser InfraRed Capital Partners, said that HICL “continue to evaluate opportunities at the lower end of the risk spectrum” and is “well-positioned to take advantage of an attractive investment pipeline across a range of sectors and geographies”.