Ontario Teachers to acquire stake in Bristol airport

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Ontario Teachers to acquire stake in Bristol airport

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan plans to acquire the 50% stake in Bristol International Airport held by Macquarie Group, through the Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund (MEIF).

The acquisition would give the C$140.8 billion (US$131.1 billion) pension fund 100% ownership of the airport.

A deal for the additional stake has not yet been reached, but discussions are ongoing. Deborah Allan, Ontario Teachers spokeswoman, said to another source the following:

"We started building this platform several years ago and remain committed to it, and we intend to exercise our right of first offer on Bristol as part of that commitment.""Airports are the ideal infrastructure asset for us. They are regulated, have barriers to entry and provide stable cash flow linked to inflation.""Airports remain a focus for the future, but we have no details to discuss at this time."

The airports are part of the OTPP's C$11.7 billion infrastructure portfolio, which returned 16.8% for the year ended Dec. 31.

The OTPP has been investing in airports, including Bristol, since 2002. The OTPP already holds a 48% stake in Birmingham Airport, 39% in Brussels Airport Co. and 30% in Copenhagen Airport.

The deal could be worth between £200 million to £250 million, according to sources.

Traffic in Bristol Airport increased to 6.1 million in 2013, a 3.4 % increase on passenger numbers in 2012. according to sources, it is the only UK airport in the UK's top ten airports to have passenger growth each year since the end of 2009.

The €1.5 billion MEIF is coming to the end of its life cycle, so Macquarie will either have to sell its assets or seek permission from investors to roll them over into its second, third our fourth MEIF funds.

In July, we also announced that MEIF sold its holding in Sweden's Arlanda Express high-speed rail service.

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