Canada Pension Plan struts its stuff

Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:45pm EST
 
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By Andrea Hopkins and Pav Jordan

(Reuters) - Swagger is not usually associated with either Canadians or pensions, but as one of the biggest dealmakers in world, the Canada Pension Plan has cause to strut.

Emerging as one of the world's most prolific dealmakers in 2008-2009 - as corporate giants beat retreats from the market place - the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is again poised to add assets to its portfolio as the world teeters on another financial crisis.

"During the financial crisis, the certainty of (our) assets was a material advantage for us," said Mark Wiseman, executive vice president at the CPPIB.

"We were able to enter into transactions, essentially to be a provider of liquidity at a benefit to us - and cost to those we were providing it to - where liquidity was very dear," he said. "Going forward ... you are going to continue to see us doing deals."

As the global crisis boiled in 2009 the CPPIB had a hand in three of the top five global private equity deals of the year, including the largest leveraged buyout: the $4 billion acquisition of IMS Health Inc RX.N, a prescription drug sales data provider.

Next, it was involved in the largest global private equity deal of 2010, the C$5.0 billion leveraged buyout of Tomkins Plc, a British maker of car parts, industrial hoses and bath tubs, which it did in conjunction with Onex Corp OCX.TO.

RETREATING RIVALS

CPPIB is not alone. Other Canadian pension funds with equally aggressive models are also marauding, with a keen eye on assets left as rivals retreat to shore up finances.   Continued...