GLOBAL - OMERS Private Equity has acquired a UK shipping group for $520m (€359m) from Exponent Private Equity in a buyout coordinated with the company's management.

Owned by Canada's CAD$53bn (€40bn) Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Scheme, the private equity group said it recognised "significant long-term potential" in V.Group, which manages more than 700 ships worldwide.

Under the terms of the deal, V.Group's management team was expected to be a significant investor in the company by way of share ownership, with current chief executive Clive Richardson retaining his position.

Mark Redman, senior managing director at OMERS Private Equity Europe, praised the ship managers' "exceptional" management team.

He added: "As a global leader operating in robust and growing segments of the market, the future opportunities for V.Group are extremely attractive."

Tom Sweet-Escott, co-founder of Exponent, praised the shipping group's profitable growth during his company's four years of ownership.

Richardson added that he looked forward to working with OMERS.

"V.Group has a tremendous future, and the management team is excited in working with our new partners in the next chapter of growth in our business," he said.

The deal comes at the end of a successful month for Canada's super funds, with OMERS earlier this week acquiring more than 200 physical therapy clinics from Gryphon Investors.

Rival Canadian fund Ontario Teachers Pension Plan recently bought Vancouver-based Imperial Parking Corporation and sold a 12% stake in Australian toll road operator Transurban, earning an estimated AUD$903m (€681m).

Meanwhile, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan exchanged its 11% stake in Sydney's airport for a 30% and 39% stake in Copenhagen and Brussels airports managed by Map Airports, with OTPP paying the operator AUD$791m for the stakes.