Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has agreed to sell 30 percent of its stakes in Bristol Airport and Birmingham Airport, both U.K. regional airports. The stakes will be sold to Australia’s New South Wales Treasury Corp (TCorp) and Sunsuper Superannuation Fund for an undisclosed sum. With the deal’s close, expected next month, Ontario Teachers’, TCorp and Sunsuper will own 70 percent, 15 percent and 15 percent of Bristol Airport, and 33.8 percent, 7.2 percent and 7.2 percent of Birmingham Airport, respectively. Ontario Teachers’, an investor in the two U.K. airports since 2001, also has holdings in three other major European freehold airports.
Ontario Teachers’ strikes new investment partnership at Bristol and Birmingham Airports
Australia’s TCorp and Sunsuper will acquire stakes from Ontario Teachers’ in two of the UK’s leading regional airports
LONDON, Oct. 31, 2017 /CNW/ – Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“Ontario Teachers'”), and Australia’s New South Wales Treasury Corporation (“TCorp”) and Sunsuper Superannuation Fund (“Sunsuper”), are announcing they will become investment partners in Bristol Airport and Birmingham Airport, two of the UK’s leading regional airports.
Ontario Teachers’ has entered a definitive agreement by which it will sell 30% of its stakes in both Bristol and Birmingham to TCorp as trustee of TCorpIM Direct Investment Fund E and Sunsuper Pty Limited as trustee of Sunsuper. TCorp and Sunsuper will each acquire 15% of Ontario Teachers’ stakes in Bristol Airport and Birmingham Airport. Following completion, Ontario Teachers’, TCorp and Sunsuper will own 70.0%, 15.0% and 15.0% of Bristol Airport and 33.8%, 7.2% and 7.2% of Birmingham Airport respectively.
Ontario Teachers’ is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan. TCorp is the financial markets arm of the public sector in New South Wales, Australia, and Sunsuper is one of Australia’s largest and fastest-growing superannuation funds.
“Working with like-minded partners who bring new ideas, capital and expertise to the table is core to our broader investment strategy,” said Andrew Claerhout, Senior Managing Director, Infrastructure and Natural Resources at Ontario Teachers’. “We look forward to TCorp and Sunsuper joining us as shareholders, alongside the strong teams at Bristol and Birmingham and Ontario Teachers’ enduring partnership with the District authority shareholders in Birmingham. Under the new shareholder structure we will continue to focus on creating long-term value for all stakeholders including the 19 million passengers who fly through these two airports every year.”
Ontario Teachers’ is the largest private investor in airports in Europe, with holdings in five freehold airports: Copenhagen Airports, Brussels Airport, Bristol Airport, Birmingham Airport and London City Airport. Ontario Teachers’ has been an investor in Bristol and Birmingham Airports since 2001, increasing its stakes to 100% (Bristol) and 48.25% (Birmingham) in 2014 with the intention of bringing in new partners.
“In addition to the attractive investment characteristics of the individual airports, TCorp was particularly interested in this investment because of the opportunity to partner with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Sunsuper, both experienced and like-minded global infrastructure investors,” said Stewart Brentnall, TCorp Chief Investment Officer. “We are excited about working with our partners, not only on this investment but also on future opportunities. TCorp has a strategy of building long-term relationships with other sophisticated investors, which we believe will help to deliver value to our clients and members, both for managing existing investments and for identifying new investment opportunities.”
“Sunsuper is an experienced investor in the Australian airport sector, and we are excited to expand our existing portfolio by adding stakes in two high-quality UK airports in Bristol and Birmingham,” said Michael Weaver, Head of Private Markets at Sunsuper. “We believe that investments in the infrastructure sector provide greater scope for value creation through responsible stewardship, governance and proactive management of assets to create value for our members. We look forward to our ongoing involvement in the Bristol and Birmingham airports, with a key focus on delivering high-quality outcomes for all passengers and stakeholders.”
Bristol Airport is the ninth largest airport in the UK with 7.5 million passengers in 2016, and Birmingham Airport is the seventh largest airport in the UK with 11.6 million passengers in 2016.
The sale is expected to complete in late November.
About Ontario Teachers’
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with CAD$180.5 billion in net assets at June 30, 2017. It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an annualized gross rate of return of 10.1% since the Plan’s founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region office is located in Hong Kong and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 318,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit otpp.com and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.
TCorp provides investment management and financial services for the government of New South Wales, which is the largest state in Australia by population and economic activity. TCorp is the third largest institutional investor in Australia. TCorp’s investment management business currently manages approximately A$90 billion of funds. For more information, please visit www.tcorp.nsw.gov.au
Sunsuper, a profit-for-members superannuation fund, is one of the 10 largest pension funds in Australia. Sunsuper was established in 1987 and is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. As at October 2017, Sunsuper had A$46 billion in funds under management and over one million members. Sunsuper invests across a diversified portfolio of global assets, including in the infrastructure sector. Sunsuper has been investing directly in infrastructure since the late-1990s, making it one of Australia’s most experienced infrastructure investors with a long track record. For more information, visit www.sunsuper.com.au
For further information: Media Contacts: Lori McLeod, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, 416-730-7207, Lori_mcleod@otpp.com; Margaret Davey, TCorp, +61 2 9325 9264, firstname.lastname@example.org; Alice Andrewartha, Sunsuper, +61 7 3333 7059, Alice_Andrewartha@sunsuper.com.au
Photo courtesy of Birmingham Airport