The California Public Employees’ Retirement System announced the acquisition of a 12.7% stake in London Gatwick Airport from Global Infrastructure Partners. The pension fund has committed up to $155 million for the purchase.
This is the pension fund’s first direct investment within its infrastructure program that was launched in 2007. Under the program as much as 1.5% of the fund’s total market assets have been allocated for infrastructure.
Gatwick, 28 miles south of London, is one of the most active airports in Europe, serving approximately 33 million passengers annually.
GIP led the $2.2 billion purchase of Gatwick from BAA Ltd. in December 2009. GIP, a $5.6 billion fund founded by Credit Suisse and General Electric, invests in infrastructure in Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development member nations and emerging market countries.
George Diehr, chairman of the investment committee at CalPERS said: “We are looking for opportunities to invest directly in high-quality infrastructure assets. We see it as a good fit for our burgeoning infrastructure program.”
CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the country with approximately $200 billion in assets.