Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (“USS”), one of the largest pension schemes in the United Kingdom, representing academics and related support staff in the higher education sector, today announced that it has committed €150 million (£126m) in the form of a convertible loan to Globalvia Inversiones, S.A which is a portfolio of 20 core infrastructure companies based in seven countries around the world.
Globalvia, established in 2007, is one of the world leaders in the management of infrastructure companies and is owned by Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas S.A (FCC) and Bankia. Globalvia has offices in Spain, Chile, Mexico, Ireland and USA. Completion of the transaction remains subject to clearance from the European Commission.
The transaction was arranged by USS Investment Management Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of USS and its principal investment manager and advisor. The investment will be managed on USS’s behalf by USS Investment Management Ltd’s in-house infrastructure team which substantially reduces the overall cost to USS of investing in infrastructure. The structured facility adds to USS’ growing portfolio of infrastructure debt and equity investments and is consistent with its strategy of developing private market investment opportunities that fit well with its long-term pension liabilities.
Gavin Merchant, Senior Investment Manager, Infrastructure, USS Investment Management said: “Our ability to invest across the capital structure has allowed the deal team to originate and execute this unique opportunity for the Scheme. This is an important new investment which further diversifies our portfolio of infrastructure assets.”
USS will commit €150m (£126m) alongside PGGM and OPTrust who will commit an additional €100m (£84m) each following their commitment of €200m (£168m) each in 2011. The new commitments of €350m (£294m) from the three pension funds will assist Globalvia to grow the existing portfolio of 14 toll roads and six light rail assets.
Rob Horsnall, Investment Manager, Infrastructure, USS Investment Management responded: “Globalvia is an outstanding company with a highly capable management team and is well positioned to capitalise on significant opportunities in the transport sector. USS’s commitment to the convertible loan instrument will provide substantial capital for Globalvia to continue to grow the existing asset base.”