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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.

Concerns Raised at Potential BlackRock Takeover of CalPERS’ Private Equity

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has been analyzing options on what to do with its massive US$ 26 billion private equity program. The pension system has embraced the mantra of reducing cost, reducing complexity and reducing risk, the hallmark of its program called “INVO 2020”. CalPERS also wants less, but more strategic relationships with external money managers. At one point, CalPERS was contemplating increasing its direct investment staff to model Canadian pension funds such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), OMERS and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension plan. The pendulum has begun to swing the other way as reported earlier by SWFI research staff.

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CDP Signs €1.7 Billion Infrastructure Loan Agreement with Atlantia Group

Cassa depositi e prestiti S.p.A. (CDP) and Atlantia Group’s Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI) have signed a €1.7 billion loan contract dedicated to upgrading motorways in Italy under concession to ASPI. €1.1 billion will come in the form of a term loan with a 10-year tenure, with the remaining €600 million wrapped up in a five-year revolving loan.

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Sovereign Funds Commit to Integrating Climate-Related Risks at One Planet Summit

Representatives from a number of sovereign wealth funds who collectively govern over US$ 2 trillion in assets came together at the One Planet Summit at the Élysée Palace in Paris in order to discuss what public asset owners can do to incorporate climate change-related risks and opportunities into investment considerations.

The newly formed committee – called the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group – includes as its founding members the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Norges Bank Investment Management (manager of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global), Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

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