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California Pension Agrees to Buy Stake in N.Y.-N.J. Power Cable

The California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension, agreed to take a stake in an underwater power cable between New York and New Jersey, its second infrastructure investment.

The $220.2 billion pension fund plans to acquire an interest in the 65-mile Neptune Regional Transmission System that runs from Sayreville, New Jersey, to Hicksville, on New York’s Long Island, according to a statement yesterday.

The purchase from Arclight Capital Partners LLC would mark the fund’s second investment in infrastructure, following its $157 million acquisition of a stake in London’s Gatwick Airport last year. The pension plans to spend as much as $5 billion on infrastructure in the next three years, including $4 billion in the U.S. and $800 million in California, it said.

“This agreement is a good fit for our growing infrastructure program,” Joseph Dear, the system’s chief investment officer, said in the statement. “It’s an income-generating investment with stable revenues located in the United States, very much in line with the type of investment we said we would be looking to make when we described our vision for infrastructure in September.”

The pension won’t disclose the size of its power-line investment until the deal is completed, expected in the first quarter of 2012, Brad Pacheco, a spokesman for the Sacramento-based fund, said by telephone.

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