Ontario Teachers’ Fund Sets Sight On Airport As It Looks To Increase Infrastructure Holdings

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The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is looking to expand its infrastructure holdings by up to $6 billion, or 33 percent, and the fund’s first move will likely be to buy an airport. From Reuters:

Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is seeking to buy the rest of Britain’s Bristol Airport in a deal worth up to 250 million pounds ($424.6 million), a source closely monitoring the situation said on Monday.

The pension fund, which already owns 49 percent of the regional airport, has the right of first offer for the 50 percent owned by Australian asset manager Macquarie Group.

Macquarie, the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager, was sounding out buyers for its holding, British newspaper The Sunday Times reported.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is eyeing the stake as it seeks to expand its infrastructure holdings from $12 billion to around $18 billion. The deal could take place this year, the source said.

“Given the right of first offer, Ontario Teachers is likely to purchase the stake, but this will of course be based on an appropriate valuation,” the source said, adding that discussions have not commenced but are expected to start “very soon”.

European airport deals typically attract a valuation of 15-17 times core earnings (EBITDA).

The Teachers’ Plan originally invested in the airport in 2002, and it increased its stake in to 49 percent in 2009.

Bristol Airport is the ninth-busiest airport in Britain.

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