Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Gambles on Irish National Lottery

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) made further inroads into the international lottery sector after finalizing a licensing agreement to operate the Irish National Lottery. The Toronto-based pension fund announced February 27 it paid the Irish government €405 million (US$ 554 million) to have OTPP-led consortium Premier Lotteries Ireland Ltd (PLI) manage the lottery for 20 years.

“Teachers’ is an experienced investor in lottery operators and we look forward to working with our partners in Ireland to grow the National Lottery through innovation and technology investments that grow sales,” said Lee Sienna, OTPP’s Vice-President of Long-Term Equities and chairman of PLI, in the press release. “The Irish license is a significant milestone in our strategy of building a leadership position in the international lottery sector.”

In March 2010, OTPP acquired UK National Lottery operator Camelot Group for €389 million. Camelot Global Services, a subsidiary, will provide consulting services to the Irish National Lottery’s current management.

The Irish National Lottery is expected to transition to PLI leadership by the end of the year. Dublin-based An Post, which provides postal, communication, retail and financial services, and An Post pension funds hold minority stakes in PLI. An Post currently operates the Irish National Lottery through a subsidiary.

OTPP is the largest single profession pension plan in Canada with C$ 129.5 billion in net assets as of December 31, 2012.

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