OMERS takes stake in Texas pipeline, PSP completes student housing partnership deal

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System’s infrastructure arm is taking on a 50 per cent stake in the BridgeTex Pipeline Co. for $1.438 billion.

With the purchase, OMERS will be the largest shareholder of the company, which owns the BridgeTex pipeline and transports crude oil from Colorado City, Texas to refineries in Houston.

“OMERS’ investment in BridgeTex is consistent with our strategy of building significant, long-term investment partnerships with leading corporations, and marks our re-entry into the attractive U.S. midstream energy sector,” said Michael Ryder, senior managing director for the Americas for OMERS Infrastructure, in a press release. “We’re very excited to join Plains All American and Magellan as co-owners and look forward to working together to support future operations of the BridgeTex pipeline.”

Read: What a storm like Harvey means for energy investors

The investment marks OMERS’ third major foray in 2018 into the U.S. energy sector. Prior to the agreement, it purchased Leeward Renewable Energy, a wind power project owner, operator and developer, and released its intention to take a 24 per cent stake in Puget Holdings, a utility company.

“Around the world, OMERS Infrastructure is singularly focused on owning vital, large-scale infrastructure assets that will best position our portfolio to deliver strong, consistent returns to OMERS members for many years to come,” said Ralph Berg, OMERS Infrastructure’s executive vice-president and global head, in a press release. “BridgeTex is yet another example of this strategy and brings another high-performing energy asset into our growing North American infrastructure portfolio.”

In other investment news, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board has completed its joint venture partnership — with Greystar Real Estate Partners and Allianz Real Estate — to invest further in Chapter, a student accommodation brand in London.

Read: PSP in joint venture to grow British student housing portfolio

The partnership, which was initially announced in June, aims to support the expansion of the brand, targeting a total of 10,000 student beds, as well as doubling the size of the portfolio in five years’ time.

“Chapter is now a recognized, income-generating business and this new partnership will strengthen and grow this highly efficient purpose-built student accommodation platform,” said Stéphane Jalbert, managing director for Europe and Asia Pacific in real estate, at PSP Investments, in a news release. “Allianz and Greystar share our long-term view and focus on high-quality assets in central London with a steady income stream. Teaming up will facilitate a period of expansion for Chapter in London.”

Read: CPPIB raises stake in U.S. student housing portfolio