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Canada Pension to Buy 10% of Toronto’s 407 Toll Road

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to buy an additional 10 percent stake in the 407 Express Toll Route near Toronto for C$894 million ($879 million) from Ferrovial SA of Spain.

Canada Pension’s purchase from Madrid-based Ferrovial’s Cintra Infraestructuras unit comes almost six weeks after the Toronto-based fund agreed to a A$3.44 billion ($3.34 billion) takeover of Intoll Group, which owns 30 percent of the road. Canada Pension will own 40 percent of the highway when both deals close.

“It’s a very good asset that really fits squarely in our infrastructure strategy,” Andre Bourbonnais, senior vice president of private investments at Canada Pension, said in an interview today. “It’s in our backyard, we know the environment and we understand it.”

Canada Pension, the country’s second-largest retirement fund manager, has been increasing investments in infrastructure in the last five years. At the end of June, it had about C$6.1 billion worth of utilities in its C$129.7 billion investment portfolio, according to filings.

“We are looking for these kinds of opportunities where we can invest a lot of capital,” Bourbonnais said. “If you have an asset you understand well, it’s so much easier.”

The 407 ETR is 53.3 percent owned by Cintra, with SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., the Montreal-based construction firm, owning 16.77 percent, Canada Pension said today in a statement.

Canada Pension agreed on Aug. 27 to buy Sydney-based Intoll after failing earlier in the year to buy Australian toll-road operator Transurban Group.

The Intoll and Ferrovial transactions may close by the end of the year, Bourbonnais said.

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