CANADA - The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, asset manager for a number of government and private pension schemes in Canada's French-speaking province, is to invest €210m in a Belgian gas infrastructure company.
The capital increase will double the Caisse's stake in Fluxys G to 20%, allowing the European firm to acquire a stake in Italian energy company Eni.
The additional funding will also make it possible for Fluxys G to buy stakes in Germany's TENP and the Swiss firm Transitgas - both pipeline construction firms active in several European markets.
Normand Provost, chief operating officer and executive vice-president of private equity for the Caisse, praised Fluxys as a market leader and said further investment "corresponded perfectly" with the asset manager's goal of achieving predictable and stable returns.
"We are pleased to have been able to support, through this capital increase, the company's investment and development projects," Provost added, praising the new stakes bought in both TENP and Transitgas as increasing the Belgian company's foothold in North-Western Europe.
Results for the six months to the end of June showed the asset manager's real estate and infrastructure portfolios underperforming compared with its chosen benchmark.
It coincided with the Caisse, which managed CAD152bn (€114bn) in assets at the end of last year, re-assessing its real estate investments, including restructuring its shopping centre and office building property subsidiaries into one company trading as Ivanhoe Cambridge. It further pledged to become one of the 10 largest real estate investors globally.
Additionally, the asset manager decided to focus on the multi-residential sector, withdrawing from hotels. As part of this shift, it in June sold its 48.5% stake in several Westin hotels, spread across five Canadian cities.