OTPP ups stake in Birmingham Airport

The deal comes a few days after the Canadian pension partnered with PSP and Santander to co-own and manage a renewables and water portfolio valued at more than $2bn.

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) has acquired an additional stake in Birmingham Airport from Australian superannuation fund Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC).

The transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed, will bump the $140.8 billion Canadian pension’s ownership of the asset from 29 percent to 48.25 percent. OTPP initially invested in Birmingham Airport in 2001 and increased its shareholding in 2007, when it bought the stake owned by Australia’s Macquarie and airport management business Aer Rianta jointly with VFMC.

Seven local district councils will continue to own about 49 percent of the asset.

Located within the UK’s second-largest city, Birmingham Airport serves about 9.5 million passengers every year. OTPP, which manages about $11.7 billion of direct infrastructure investments, is also a shareholder in Bristol, Copenhagen and Brussels Airports.

The Birmingham deal follows OTPP’s agreement with Ottawa-based PSP Investments (PSP) and Spain’s Banco Santander (Santander) to acquire a renewable energy and water infrastructure portfolio valued at more than $2 billion.

The assets, currently solely owned by Santander, will be transferred to a new company owned equally by all three parties. They include assets located in seven countries in both operating and development stages. The transaction is expected to close within the first half of 2015.

Hints of the deal first filtered out in November last year, when a filing with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission revealed that OTPP and PSP wanted to acquire a 16.9 percent stake in Crescent Dunes, a $1 billion concentrated solar Nevada plant project currently 26.8 percent-owned by Santander.

The transaction gave birth to a new joint venture, Indias Capital Holdings, established by the three partners to purchase the Crescent Dunes stake and invest in other operating wind, hydro and solar assets owned globally by the Spanish lender.