JLIF boosts exposure to education

The listed fund’s investment in Barnsley BSF comes a few days after it rounded up its largest fundraising since inception.

John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF), a London-listed vehicle, has bought a 40 percent stake in the Barnsley Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project.

Acquired from UK developer John Laing, the scheme consists of the construction of nine new Advanced Learning centres, one new-build special school and one special school extension. It is a 25-year concession running until April 2036.

The deal marks JLIF’s 50th acquisition since inception. It brings the share represented by the education sector in the fund’s portfolio from 7 percent to 17 percent, putting it in third place behind health and transport.

The transaction closely follows JLIF’s latest fundraise, the largest since the fund’s launch in 2010. The firm announced it had collected £242.3 million (€286 million; $386 million) earlier this month, marginally exceeding its original target of £240 million.

The proceeds are earmarked for future acquisitions from John Laing, including three operational public-private partnerships (PPP) worth an overall £103 million. In addition to the Barnsley BSF project, these comprise a 75 percent interest in North Staffordshire Hospital, England, and 50 percent of the Canada-based Kelowna and Vernon Hospitals.

Launched by John Laing in October 2010, JLIF was listed on the London Stock Exchange the following month, raising an initial £270 million. A member of the FTSE 250 since December 2011, it had a market capitalisation of £604.8 million in June 2013.