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 Board to Open India Office

India gate

Pension360 covered last week the reported interest in Indian investments expressed by the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Today, that interest became much clearer, as the CPPIB announced plans to open an India office in Mumbai.

More details from the Economic Times:

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the giant pension fund that makes private-equity investments, plans to open an India office and has hired Kotak Realty Fund executive V Hari Krishna as a key member of its local team.

Krishna would join CPPIB in the coming month from the Kotak fund where he was a director for more than nine years, said two people having direct knowledge of the matter. He has also worked at real estate consultancy firms in the pat.

The proposed India office will be the second for CPPIB in an emerging market, indicating the fund’s growing focus on India where the economy is expected to turn around after two years of sub-5 per cent growth. “The India office will be set up in Mumbai in the next two-three quarters and CPPIB intends to do direct transaction over the next 12-18 months,” said one of the two people. “The fund has been looking to hire heads for real-estate, infrastructure and equities for India to drive investment.”

The pension fund refused to comment on office opening or recruitment in India, including of Krishna. “As a growing global investment organisation, we do look at expansion to more locations,” said Mark Machin, senior managing director and president of Asia at CPPIB. Krishna didn’t reply to a text message seeking comment.

The CPPIB appears to be primarily interested in Indian infrastructure and real estate investments. From the Economic Times:

In June this year, it offered to invest around $322 million in India’s infrastructure sector through L&T Infrastructure Development Projects, a unit of Larsen & Toubro.

It offered another $250 million in a strategic alliance with Piramal Enterprises to provide structured debt financing to residential projects across major urban centers this February, and a $200 million strategic alliance with the Shapoorji Pallonji group to acquire stabilised office buildings that are foreign-direct-investment compliant in late 2013.

“India is a key long-term growth market for CPPIB. The fund has committed approximately US $1.4 billion in India since 2010 and will continue to look to India for investments that fit with our long-term investment mandate,” CPPIB’s Machin said in an email response.

The CPPIB would not confirm or deny the plans for an India office.

Pension Funds Attracted To India’s Infrastructure, Real Estate

India gate

Money is flowing into India as The Canada Pension Plan, along with a handful of other pension funds from around the globe, are increasingly investing in the country’s infrastructure and real estate. From the Financial Times:

CPPIB [Canada Pension Plan Investment Board] entered India in 2010 but has recently raised its profile with a series of deals involving long-term assets such as toll roads and residential property, creating a portfolio of planned investments worth $1.4bn that already ranks among the largest investments in the country by a foreign pension fund.

“Because it is a very small percentage [of the fund’s overall assets], clearly it is likely to grow, as India keeps growing and developing,” Mr [Mark] Machin, [international head of CPPIB] said.

“We will almost inevitably have more money focused on India. . . It is one of the most important markets for us in the region,” he added.


In June, CPPIB announced a $332m infrastructure investment partnership with a division of Larsen & Toubro, India’s largest engineering group by sales. That followed deals to invest in real estate with two family-owned conglomerates, the Piramal and Shapoorji Pallonji groups.

The fund has also built up large portfolios in Australia and China, with deals worth $5.9bn and $4.1bn respectively, in assets ranging from property development to logistics.

The Canada Pension Plan is one of many pension funds turning its focus to India. From FirstBiz:

Many sovereign and pension funds are pumping funds into the Indian real estate like All Pensions Group (APG Group), Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), State General Reserve Fund of Oman (SGRF) and GIC of Singapore.

It’s no coincidence that investment interest has perked up following the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi has said he’ll lift some restrictions on foreign investment and kick-start a new wave of infrastructure projects.