UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is investing £400m (€437m) for a 49% stake in a UK fuel station portfolio owned by oil major BP.

USS Investment Management, the in-house manager for the £68bn pension scheme, said it has agreed to invest in BP’s freehold property estate of 199 UK forecourts in a sale and leaseback deal.

The majority of the 199 forecourts are located in the south-east on main roads and in urban locations. As well as selling fuel, BP also has a relationship with retailer Marks & Spencer and offers convenience stores at the sites.

BP will retain sole operational control of the forecourts as a tenant under new 20-year leases offered by a new joint venture company formed by USS and BP. 

The latest deal adds to USS’s £4bn property portfolio.

USS Investment Management CEO, Simon Pilcher, said: “This transaction allows USS to partner with a quality investment grade business in a long-term arrangement that supports our duty as a trustee to pay those pensions which have already been promised.”

USS Investment Management deputy head of property, Alex Turner, said: “This is a prime portfolio which is diversified across the UK and which benefits from sustainable rents set against the proven trading performance from both fuel and non-fuel sales.”

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