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Canada Pension Plan leads C$3.18bn gas transport infrastructure deal

1 Feb 2012

Canadian pension investor CPP Investment Board (CPPIB) has led the acquisition of a 24.1 per cent stake in the Gassled Joint Venture from energy company Statoil, for NOK17.35bn (C$3.18bn).

The buyer is Solveig Gas Norway, a holding company that is approximately 40 per cent owned by CPPIB, 30 per cent by private equity firm Allianz Capital Partners, and 30 per cent by Infinity Investments, a subsidiary of the sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Established in 2003, Gassled is an unincorporated joint venture which owns the majority of the gas transport infrastructure on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The company is expected to benefit from the growth in European gas demand and Norway’s long term position as a key supplier of gas to Europe, according to Andre Bourbonnais, senior vice president, private investments for CPPIB.

He said, “We are pleased to close this significant transaction alongside our consortium partners. Gassled is a good fit with CPPIB’s infrastructure portfolio and long-term investment strategy, and we look forward to becoming an important strategic partner in the future development of the Gassled network.”

CPPIB is the professional investment management organisation that invests the funds not needed by the Canada Pension Plan. The group invests in public equities, private equities, real estate, inflation-linked bonds, infrastructure and fixed income instruments. Headquartered in Toronto, funds under management total $152.3bn.

Private equities amounted to 16.6 per cent of the overall assets, or $25.3bn.

Following the group’s most recent quarterly organisation, David Denison, president and CEO, CPP Investment Board, said, “Despite major equity market indices declining approximately 11 per cent on average, the fund’s overall quarterly performance benefitted from our active management programmes and private market holdings”.

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