Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and USS to acquire Westerleigh Group from Antin Infrastructure Partners
LONDON – Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan ("Ontario Teachers'") and Universities Superannuation Scheme ("USS") today announced the acquisition of Westerleigh Group ("Westerleigh"), the UK crematoria developer and operator, from Antin Infrastructure Partners ("Antin"). The transaction is expected to close by year end.
Founded in 1991, Westerleigh Group has grown to become the leading developer and operator of crematoria and cemeteries in the UK, caring for over 30,000 funerals per year across its 22 sites. It has a significant and successful track record of developing new crematoria, with 13 built since 1991. Crematoria form an essential piece of social infrastructure in the UK, with over 75% of deaths cremated each year.
Richard Evans, Managing Director of Westerleigh, said: "We are grateful for Antin's backing over the past three years and are delighted to have new long-term, pension fund investors to support the Group through our next phase of growth."
Andrew Claerhout, Ontario Teachers' Senior Vice-President Infrastructure and Natural Resources, commented: "We are very pleased to partner with USS, an institution with which we have tremendous alignment, and with Richard Evans and his outstanding management team to continue to drive Westerleigh's growth. This is a unique business that has established a strong position in the UK market. Their stable revenues and resilient operating model align well with our long-term investment requirements."
Gavin Merchant, Head of Real Assets at USS Investment Management, said: "We are delighted to be investing in Westerleigh which plays such a critical societal role in the UK. We look forward to working with Richard, his team and our partners Ontario Teachers', to continue to grow Westerleigh as an essential social infrastructure provider and to maintain its reputation for a high quality of care."
About Ontario Teachers'
Ontario Teachers' is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada. An independent organization since 1990, Ontario Teachers' invests and administers the pensions of more than 316,000 active and retired teachers in the Province of Ontario. As of December 31, 2015, Ontario Teachers' had net assets of C$171.4 billion (£104 billion), invested across a mix of equities (public and private), bonds, commodities, real assets (real estate and infrastructure) and absolute return strategies. Ontario Teachers' infrastructure portfolio was valued at approximately C$15.7 billion (£9.5 billion) as of December 31, 2015 and includes airports, high-speed rail, water and wastewater utilities, electricity and gas distribution, thermal and renewable power generation, toll roads and container terminals.
For more information on OTPP please go to www.otpp.com
About Universities Superannuation Scheme
Universities Superannuation Scheme was established in 1975 as the principal defined benefit pension scheme for universities and other higher education institutions in the UK. It has around 375,000 scheme members across more than 360 institutions and is one of the largest pension schemes in the UK, with total fund assets of approximately £53 billion (as at 30 June 2016).
The scheme's trustee is Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited, a corporate trustee which provides scheme management and trusteeship from its offices based in Liverpool and London. The trustee company delegates implementation of its investment strategy to a wholly-owned investment management subsidiary company - USS Investment Management Limited - which provides in-house investment management and advisory services.
For more information on Universities Superannuation Scheme please go to www.uss.co.uk