UK - The UK's largest pension fund, the £38bn (€47bn) BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), has acquired 12.4% of Thames Water owner Kemble from two funds managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA).

Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund and Macquarie Diversified Infrastructure Fund agreed to exit their interest in the firm at what they perceive to be a good time in the cycle to sell. Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 2 will remain the company's largest shareholder, with 26%.

The acquisition announced today will make BTPS the company's second largest shareholder. Other minority shareholders include Chinese sovereign wealth fund CIC and a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which in December acquired 9.9% of the holding company.

Hermes GPE acquired the asset and will manage it on the BTPS's behalf. Under the terms of the agreement, a seat on the board will give it a degree of direct access to management.

According to a source familiar with the transaction, Hermes GPE believes infrastructure has remained inaccessible for many institutional investors despite efforts to develop the market in recent years, and the Kemble deal is therefore significant.

In separate news, a £150m joint venture between the £32bn Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and Metric Property Investments, a specialist REIT, has acquired a distressed retail park in Derry for £17.2m.

The Metric Income Plus Limited Partnership (MIPP) acquired the supermarket-anchored B&Q Faustina Retail Park, a single-tenant out-of-town asset with 557 parking spaces, from the receivers at a 7.5% initial yield.
Metric investment director Valentine Beresford said in a statement the acquisition would deliver "strong and long income at an attractive initial yield".

MIPP has invested £52m in five assets since it was set up last November as a five-year vehicle focused on regional out-of-town retail parks and individual retail units.

The Derry acquisition represents the JV's second in as many months, following the acquisition in April of a Bristol retail park from Cordatus Partners for £7.8m.