March 26, 2009 / 10:53 AM / in 9 years

Canada pension funds eye UK airports: report

(Reuters) - Canada’s top pension funds are looking to invest in British airports after the breakup of Britain’s BAA Plc, the world’s biggest airport operator, the Globe and Mail said.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Borealis, the infrastructure arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, are all part of consortiums in the running for BAA’s Gatwick airport, the paper said, citing executives close to the funds.

The company’s owners, including the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, may have to unload the airports in a recession, the newspaper said.

Lower prices could provide a compelling buying opportunity for Canada’s other big pension funds, the paper said.

Spain’s Ferrovial, which bought the British airports monopoly at the top of the market in 2006, has been ordered by Britain’s Competition Commission to sell three of its seven British airports within two years.

Britain’s competition regulator is forcing BAA to sell London’s Stansted followed by either Edinburgh or Glasgow once it has completed the auction of Gatwick.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Derek Caney

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