The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will pay $546-million to buy a stake in one of Europe's largest car park management companies, saying the infrastructure asset offers a stable and geographically diverse investment.
CPPIB is acquiring a 39-per-cent stake in Brussels-based SA Interparking NV from owner AG Real Estate, which is reducing its holding to 51 per cent. The deal is valued at €376-million or $546-million (Canadian).
AG Real Estate is a subsidiary of leading Belgian insurer AG Insurance, and says on its web site it is Belgium's largest real estate group. The remaining 10 per cent of Interparking is held by private investor PARKIMO, which is retaining its stake.
Interparking was founded 55 years ago in Belgium and now operates across 350 cities in nine European countries with a portfolio of 657 car parks. It is the market leader in Belgium and Germany.
André Bourbonnais, CPPIB's head of private investments, said Interparking "aligns well" with the pension fund's "exceptionally long" time horizon for investments.
"Interparking is a good fit with our infrastructure program because of the relatively stable, predictable cash flows available through its geographically diversified portfolio of high quality car parks," he said in a statement.
Interparking financial reports say the company earned operating income of $499-million (Canadian) in 2013, up 4.6 per cent from $478-million in 2012. Profit climbed 1.8 per cent to $32-million in 2013 from $31.5-million in 2012.