Caisse makes first infrastructure equity investment in Spain, CPPIB to sell stake in London real estate

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is buying a portfolio of 73 photovoltaic plants from Q-Energy Ltd., the first step in creating a new platform in Spain that seeks to aggregate further renewable assets.

The transaction will be finalized in the coming months, after which Q-Energy will continue to provide comprehensive management of the assets, carrying out day-to-day operations, monitoring and maintenance, according to a press release. The portfolio of assets was previously owned by the Q-Energy III Fund, which was launched in 2018.

“This first equity infrastructure investment in Spain is a milestone in the deployment of CDPQ’s long-term European infrastructure strategy,” said Emmanuel Jaclot, executive vice-president and head of infrastructure at the Caisse, in the release. “With this transaction, we are laying the foundation of our renewables platform in Spain, which will allow us to progressively increase our presence in this key renewable market and achieve CDPQ’s carbon intensity reduction targets.”

The Q-Energy team currently manages more than 150 renewable energy plants across Spain, Italy and Germany, generating more than 1,300 megawatts of power. Q-Energy has invested more than €6 billion in the sector since 2007, in photovoltaic solar, concentrated solar power and wind assets.

In other investment news, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is selling its 50 per cent interest in the first phase of a real estate development in London, England.

Phase one of Nova Victoria, a five-building, mixed-use development adjacent to London’s Victoria mainline and underground stations, was finished in April 2017. The sale, to Singapore’s Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust, is expected to net the pension fund about $720 million.

“The sale of Nova phase one is the culmination of a long-term and highly successful joint venture development project with Landsec, who remain a valued and trusted partner of CPP Investments,” said Tom Jackson, managing director and head of U.K. real estate at the CPPIB, in a press release.

“The project has been a huge success, as a large and high quality mixed-use development scheme that has significantly revitalized the area around Victoria station. It represents one of the most successful developments in London in recent times and has delivered solid returns for the more than 20 million contributors and beneficiaries of the fund.”