Ontario Teachers’ to buy North American parking business

The Canadian pension has agreed to acquire Babcock & Brown Gates Parking Investments, ‘one of the largest parking management companies in North America’, managing over 400,000 parking spaces. The deal is expected to close later this year, but the purchase price was not disclosed.

Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) announced last week that it has agreed to buy Babcock & Brown Gates Parking Investments (BBGPI), a car parks operator active in North America.

BBGPI is a joint venture between Cleveland-based private equity firm Gates Group Capital Partners and London-headquartered Global Partners Fund. It was formed in 2006 to acquire Imperial Parking Corporation of America (Impark), which OTPP describes as “one of the largest parking management companies in North America”. 

Impark, located in Vancouver, manages more than 2,000 parking locations comprising over 400,000 parking spaces in “over 25 markets throughout Canada and the United States,” OTPP said. The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is set to close by the end of this year. OTPP did not disclose how much it will pay for BBGPI.

OTPP has been busy on the acquisitions front, having recently acquired a 39 percent stake in Brussels Airport and a 30 percent interest in Copenhagen Airport from MAp Airports in exchange for its 11 percent stake in Sydney Airport plus a cash payment of A$791 million (€596.3 million; $843.4 million). In early July, OTPP also invested about C$541 million (€401 million; $564 million) to increase its stakes in two Chilean water utilities.

But the Canadian pension has also hit the headlines in connection to two other high-profile deals: a pledge to sell its 26.8 percent stake in a UK water utility being taken over by a consortium led by Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure for £2.4 billion (€2.7 billion; $3.9 billion); and the divestment of its entire 12 percent stake in Australian toll roads operator Transurban for A$903 million.

OTPP had $107.5 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2010, making it “the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada”, OTPP said in a statement. As its name indicates, OTPP invests and manages the pensions of 295,000 active and retired teachers in the province of Ontario.