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USS acquires stake in Heathrow Airport Holdings

by Drew Campbell

London-based Universities Superannuation Scheme, through its subsidiary investment manager, USS Investment Management Ltd., has paid Madrid-based Ferrovial $634 millionfor an 8.65 percent stake in Heathrow Airport Holdings, owner of Heathrow Airport in London as well as Glasgow and Aberdeen airports (in Scotland) and Southampton airport (in southern England). In the first six months of 2013, those airports handled 40.2 million passengers.
In June 2006, a consortium including Ferrovial acquired BAA Ltd., later renamed as Heathrow Airport Holdings. Ferrovial retains a 25 percent stake in HAH.
The $65 billion USS has a target allocation to infrastructure of 7 percent. The retirement system raised its target allocation to infrastructure in March 2012, noting at the time it planned to invest about £2 billion ($3.1 billion) “in infrastructure over the next three years with a significant focus on U.K. infrastructure.”
“We are pleased with the addition of a British pension fund to the group of international investors who are already part of Heathrow,” says Íñigo Meirás, CEO of Ferrovial. “Heathrow now has investors based in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, including sovereign wealth funds from Qatar, China and Singapore.”

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