GLOBAL - The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), which manages assets worth CAD70bn (€50.4bn) for 26 Canadian pension schemes and government funds, has acquired 50% of SAESA, a Chilean electricity transmission and distribution company, for an undisclosed price.

The CAD107.5bn Canadian teachers' pension fund OTPP owns the other 50%. 

OTPP and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure acquired the company, which dominates the electricity market in the south of the country and also has wind, hydro and thermal power-generation operations, in 2008.

In a written response to questions on the deal, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners CIO Sadek Wahba said the firm had received reverse enquiries from potential buyers over the past 18 months after Chile's newly acquired OECD membership resulted in re-rating of its sovereign risk.

"This was something we expected at the time of our original acquisition," he said.

"Since our operational and performance goals had been met, we made the decision to sell our interest and maximise the value."

This will be AIMCo's second acquisition in the Chilean market. Its first was the acquisition of an interest in the Chilean highway last December.

Leo de Bever, chief executive at AIMCo, told IP Real Estate: "We found two good ones because investors with a shorter horizon wanted to exit. 

"The size of these deals is so large that a joint venture makes sense from a diversification point of view.

"The other partner doesn't have to be Canadian, but must be like-minded in terms of investment return expectations and investment horizon."

De Bever said the pension fund manager was "not married to silos" and would consider further core infrastructure investment given a stable real return with a bit more risk than index-linked securities.

"We do invest in social infrastructure - power, transmission and roads," he said. "But if you means schools, courthouses and prisons, I'm not a big fan. There isn't a large enough equity component to make a productive contribution."