Canada Pension Buys Big Stake in European High-Speed Rail


Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has acquired a 30 percent stake in Eurostar International, a high-speed rail service that runs between London, Paris and Brussels.

Caisse’s stake is reportedly worth $850 million, according to the International Business Times Australia.

Caisse purchased the stake from the UK Treasury.

More details from IBT:

Caisse expects to close the deal on the second quarter of 2015, if the state-owned railways in France and Belgium do not exercise their rights to purchase the British government’s stake. Together, France and Belgium own the remaining 60 percent of Eurostar. They could push to exercise their right by paying a 15 percent premium to the agreed price.

“We don’t think they will exercise it and hope they would not… but it remains in their discretion,” Macky Tall, senior vice-president of private equity and infrastructure at the Caisse, was quoted by The Financial Post.

Eurostar, launched in 1994, offers train service up to 300 kilometres an hour through the English Channel tunnel. It runs between London and Paris, as well as London and Brussels. It travels 2 hours and 15 minutes between France and Britain’s two largest cities for £69. In 2014, it carried over 10.4 million people.

Tall said the investment is another opportunity for the company to further build its expertise in the transport sector, noting Caisse’s global infrastructure investment portfolio was valued at more than C$10 billion as of Dec. 31.

When the deal is closed, ownership stakes in Eurostar International will look like this: French National Railway Company (55%), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (30%), Hermes Infrastructure (10%) and National Railway Company of Belgium (5%).


Photo by  Renaud CHODKOWSKI via Flickr CC License

Canada Pension Invests $157 Million in Indian Engineering Firm

CanadaThe Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has made a $157 million in the infrastructure arm of an Indian engineering company.

The investment is the first direct investment in an Indian infrastructure firm by a Canadian pension fund. The $157 million is only the first installment in CPPIB’s commitment, which totals $314 million.

Details from VC Circle:

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has invested Rs 1,000 crore (around $157 million) in L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd (L&T IDPL), a unit of Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), by way of subscription to compulsorily convertible preference shares, as per a stock market disclosure.

The investment, made through CPPIB’s Singapore-based wholly owned subsidiary, is the first tranche of proposed Rs 2,000 crore (around $314 million now) investment that was approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), the nodal government body monitoring foreign investment in the country, earlier this year.

The two companies signed a definitive investment agreement in June this year.

“A second tranche of Rs 1,000 crore or such higher amount as may be agreed between L&T IDPL and CPPIB’s subsidiary, will be invested after 12 months from the date of the initial investment, subject to any required regulatory approvals at such time,” L&T said in the statement.

CPPIB manages $234.4 in assets.

Canada Pension Eyes $1 Billion of Australian Timber


Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) is in talks to buy $1 billion worth of Australian timber assets from Hancock Timber Resource Group.

More details from the Australian:

CANADA’S Public Sector Pension Investment Board could be about to swoop on one of Australia’s most valuable timber plantations, with sources saying about $1 billion worth of forests owned by Hancock Timber Resource Group are on its radar.

PSP executives have been in Sydney this week sounding out counterparties ahead of what some say is shaping up to be an aggressive acquisition spree by the Canadians focusing on Australian property, agriculture and billions of dollars’ worth of upcoming infrastructure assets for sale by federal and state governments.

It is understood a major Australian acquisition is on the cards by PSP and the seller it is engaged with is Hancocks.

Recent forestry portfolios placed up for sale have struggled to secure strong prices, but the industry is now shaking off pain from weaker industry demand and collapsed managed investment schemes, which could see some plantations sell for some more bullish prices, with an increasing appetite for timber from woodchip markets.


Across the Tasman, PSP is finalising the purchase of forest plantations from Harvard Management in conjunction with New Zealand Superannuation and local Iwi tribes worth $NZ2.35bn ($2.15bn), and recently outlaid more than $NZ1bn for the acquisition of AMP’s office portfolio.

PSP manages $97 billion in assets.


Photo by Rick Payette via Flickr CC License