EUROPE - Dutch pension fund asset manager PGGM has acquired a majority stake in UPP Group, a provider of student homes and infrastructure at university campuses in the UK.

The PGGM Infrastructure Fund purchased the 60% stake for an undisclosed amount from Barclay's Infrastructure Funds Management (BIFM).

In a statement, PGGM said: "The co-operation with UPP provides an excellent basis for the company to further strengthen and increase its portfolio by providing a stable and long-term capital base."

Henk Huizing, PGGM's head of infrastructure, added: "UPP has an excellent market position, and we support its strategy as well as its partnership model with the public sector."

Huizing said the deal was a good example of implementing the fund's direct investment strategy in stable social infrastructure sector, with a long-term focus.

"Furthermore," he said, "the inflation-linked stable cash flows are an excellent match with our clients' liabilities."

UPP is a provider of on-campus student accommodation infrastructure and specialist asset management services to the UK higher education sector, operating in close partnership with universities.

Sean O'Hara, chief executive at UPP, said the deal was a strategic fit with the company's business model and provided a strong platform for future growth.

Karen Smith, managing director at Macquarie Group, which advised PGGM, said the transaction was the latest evidence of institutional investors moving to direct investments in infrastructure and residential property in the UK.

PGGM, the asset manager for the €118bn healthcare scheme PFZW, has an increasing presence as a global investor in infrastructure, with a recent investment in a large wind farm in Mexico.

Earlier, it invested in a portfolio of predominantly Spanish and Latin American roads and a global network of oil storage terminals.