OMERS Emerges As Front-Runner for ISS

LONDON (Reuters) – Canadian pension fund Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) has emerged as favourite to buy port and shipping agent Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the FT reported in its Thursday edition.

OMERS’ bid to buy ISS comes as a string of other Canadian pension funds move into the buyout business, looking to carve a niche as a new kind of long-term investor. 

Citing people familiar with the auction, the FT said OMERS had made it into the second round of bidding and was thought to be favoured by ISS’s management.

ISS’s owner Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai World [DBWLD.UL], hopes to raise more than $700 million through the sale, people have said previously. Its debt-laden parent is undergoing a $9.5 billion government rescue.

People familiar with the matter have previously told Reuters that private equity firms Carlyle, Cinven, CVC and General Atlantic had prepared binding bids for ISS. 

ISS and OMERS could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Valerie Lee)