USS acquires £95m alternative property portfolio

Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd (USS) has acquired the PINE unit trust (PINE), a portfolio of 32 children’s nurseries and one special educational needs school from private equity fund manager Epiris for £95m.

PINE is a property portfolio with assets across the UK, let to a range of different tenants on long term index-linked leases including four of the top ten nursery operators and a leading provider of special needs education, nationally.

The deal follows the £100m launch earlier this year of the 'Supported Housing Investment Limited Partnership’ (SHIP) – a joint venture between USS and Morgan Sindall Investments, providing purpose built housing for vulnerable people with physical and learning disabilities.

Mike Powell, Head of Private Markets USS said: “As part of our innovative and flexible investment approach, we are increasingly looking at alternative property assets as a significant source of properties offering a diversity of tenants on long leases and backed by strong covenants."

Alex Turner, Deputy Head of Property USS added: “This was a particularly attractive opportunity for us, in line with our strategy for targeting index-linked, longer lease property which will produce long term, stable returns for the benefit of our participating employers and members.”

USS was advised by JLL, Carey Olsen, DLA and PwC.