The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) of Japan and Australian state investor TCorp have acquired a stake in Brussels Airport from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
GPIF made the investment through StepStone, a real assets multi-manager that it hired in 2018 as part of its move into global infrastructure.
James O’Leary, head of StepStone Infrastructure & Real Assets, said: “Making a co-investment on behalf of GPIF, alongside Ontario Teachers’ and TCorp, is very appealing, and consistent with our model of partnering with leading investors around the world.
“As a responsible investor, the opportunity to co-invest in a long-term, sustainable infrastructure asset in a quality market such as Belgium is very attractive. This is supported further by Ontario Teachers’ long pre-existing ownership of the asset.”
The size and price of the stake were not disclosed, but Ontario Teachers’ said it was still the largest individual shareholder.
Last year, Dutch pension fund investor APG and Australian fund manager QIC acquired Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets’ 36% stake for €2bn. At the time, Ontario Teachers’ had a 39% stake, while the Belgian government held 25%.
Dale Burgess, senior managing director for infrastructure and natural resources at Ontario Teachers’, said: “As a leading infrastructure investor with a global mandate, part of our strategy is to establish and deepen relationships with like-minded partners who bring new ideas, capital and expertise to the table.
“We look forward to working with our new co-investors in what is truly one of the premier capital city airports in Europe and a centre of economic activity in Belgium.
“Under the new shareholder structure we will continue to focus on creating long-term value for all stakeholders including the 26 million passengers who fly through Brussels Airport every year.”
Ontario Teachers’ is the largest private investor in airports in Europe, with holdings in Copenhagen Airport, Brussels Airport, Bristol Airport, Birmingham Airport and London City Airport.
In 2017, TCorp, the financial services provider to New South Wales, acquired stakes in Bristol Airport and Birmingham Airport.
Stewart Brentnall, CIO of TCorp, said: “We are delighted to invest with Ontario Teachers’ again. This further cements our investment partnership following our 2017 investment in Bristol and Birmingham Airports with like-minded, sophisticated investors.
“We share, and are committed to, common objectives, values and investment horizons. This transaction allows us to expand our global infrastructure investments, further diversify risk and provide consistent, sustainable returns over the long term.”