OTPP sells stake in container operator to IFM and BIC

This is the second time in the past year the Ontario pension has divested part of an infrastructure asset to form a partnership with other long-term investors.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has sold the majority of its stake in GCT Global Container Terminals to form a management partnership with IFM Investors and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation.

OTPP, with C$189.5 billion ($145.8 billion; €124.2 billion) in assets, sold a 37.5 percent stake in the port container terminal operator to IFM Investors and a 25 percent stake to BCI, and will keep a 37.5 percent stake for itself. Financial details for the transaction were not disclosed, but OTPP acquired the Vancouver-based company in 2007 for $2.35 billion and reportedly tried to sell a significant stake in GCT in 2016 that valued the business at over $4 billion including debt.

OTPP declined to comment for this story.

GCT is a leading container terminal operator in North America, managing assets in New York’s Staten Island, New Jersey, Vancouver and British Columbia.

The deal is the second time in the past year OTPP has divested a portion of an infrastructure asset in its portfolio in favour of forming partnerships with like-minded, long-term investors. Last November, the pension sold 30 percent of its stake in two UK airports, Bristol and Birmingham, to Australian investors New South Wales Treasury Corporation and Sunsuper Superannuation Fund.

That deal was the first time OTPP partnered on an infrastructure asset already in the fund’s portfolio, though it has acquired assets in partnership with other firms. Most recently, OTPP teamed up with CDPQ and Partners Group last month to buy German energy metering group Techem from Macquarie in a deal with an enterprise value of €4.6 billion.

The pension also announced last month the new head of its infrastructure group, Dale Burgess. He took over management of a C$25.4 billion programme after his predecessor, Andrew Claerhout, left the pension earlier this year.