New Delhi: The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) on Tuesday said Australia's largest superannuation fund AustralianSuper and Canada's Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan have signed pacts to invest up to USD 2 billion with the NIIF Master Fund.
The NIIF invests in equity capital in the country's core infrastructure sectors with a focus on transportation, energy and urban infrastructure.
"The NIIF of India is pleased to announce that AustralianSuper, Australia's largest superannuation fund, and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers'), Canada's largest single-profession pension plan, have each signed agreements for investments of up to USD 1 billion with the NIIF Master Fund," NIIF said in a statement.
The agreements include commitments of USD 250 million each in the Master Fund and co-investment rights of up to USD 750 million each in future opportunities alongside the Fund, it said.
"This marks the third close of the NIIF Master Fund. AustralianSuper and Ontario Teachers' will now join the Government of India (GOI), Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Temasek, HDFC Group, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance and Axis Bank as investors in the Fund," the statement said.
Australian Super and Ontario Teachers' will also become shareholders in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Ltd, NIIF's investment management company, it said. The Fund also added that domestic investors HDFC Life and Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance have further committed Rs 600 million in the third round.
"With this, NIIF Master Fund becomes the largest infrastructure fund in India with assets under management of over USD 1.8 billion and a co-investment pool of USD 2.5 billion, which will enable the Fund to invest at the scale required for the large infrastructure requirements in India," it said. The Master Fund has a tenure of 15 years and is denominated in the Indian rupees to suit the requirements of the infrastructure sector.
NIIF Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sujoy Bose said, "We are delighted to welcome two of the world's leading pension funds as investors in the NIIF Master Fund and as shareholders of NIIF, alongside other eminent investors.
AustralianSuper and Ontario Teachers' are among the most respected infrastructure investors in the world and bring considerable global perspective and value to NIIF.
Their significant investments demonstrate the international interest in Indian infrastructure and reconfirms the many strengths of NIIF, which positions it as one of the primary Indian pooling vehicles for global capital.
Dale Burgess, senior managing director (infrastructure and natural resources) of Ontario Teachers', said, "NIIF's investment strategy aligns with the long-term and partner-oriented investing approach, we have successfully used in other regions."
Ben Chan, regional managing director (Asia-Pacific) of Ontario Teachers', said a commitment to NIIF will substantially bolster Ontario Teachers' presence in India, providing us with on-the-ground market insights and capabilities to be well-positioned in a large market with significant expected growth.
Mark Delaney, chief investment officer with AustralianSuper, said India's burgeoning infrastructure market is among the largest in Asia, which presents many opportunities for investment.
"We are pleased to have entered into this agreement with the NIIF Master Fund and to be shareholders of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited and look forward to participating in a strong pipeline of projects across a range of sectors."
NIIF is a fund manager that invests in infrastructure and related sectors in India. An institution anchored by the Government of India, NIIF is a collaborative investment platform for international and Indian investors with a mandate to invest equity capital in domestic infrastructure.