The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board are part of a consortium acquiring an Australian infrastructure investment fund.
The consortium, which also includes KKR, paid A$5.2 billion ($4.6 billion) to acquire all outstanding equities in Spark Infrastructure. The deal has been approved by Australian regulatory authorities.
Spark’s assets provide electricity to about five million Australians. Its portfolio includes 49 per cent stakes in three regional electricity distributors, as well as a 15.1 per cent share in Australia’s largest high-voltage electricity network. It also owns a number of renewable electricity production facilities, including a solar farm in New South Wales.
In a press release, Bruce Crane, managing director and head of Asia-Pacific infrastructure and natural resources at the Ontario Teachers’, said the acquisition was part of a broader strategy to invest in high-quality regulated infrastructure assets across the globe. “We look forward to working with our partners and management to continue to optimize network performance and reliability while also supporting future growth of the portfolio.”
In the same press release, Sandiren Curthan, senior director of infrastructure investments at PSP Investments said Spark Infrastructure’s electricity transmission and distribution networks are well-positioned to enable the clean energy transition toward a low-carbon economy, as Australia transitions away from coal.
In other news, the Ontario Teachers’ is assuming indirect ownership of a 2,150 hectares of loblolly pine forests located throughout the U.S. south.
Control of the forests passed to Tamarack Timberlands, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ontario Teachers’, following the decision to exercise a redemption transaction with Resource Management Service, a woodland investment company. Following the change in ownership, RMS will continue to manage the properties.
Also known as the yellow pine, loblolly pines populations have suffered due to a loss of genetic diversity.
“A responsible, sustainable and long-term approach to forestry has value beyond timber production,” said Christopher Metrakos, managing director of natural resources at the Ontario Teachers’, in a press release. “These assets will continue to provide the Ontario Teachers’ with stable and robust cash yields as well as long-term capital appreciation, while also acting as a natural climate solution to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.”