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Friday, March 18, 2011

CalPERS targets buys for $5 billion infrastructure plan

CalPERS, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, sees itself buying more stakes directly in assets such as roads and airports as it targets $5 billion in infrastructure investments, one of its portfolio managers said. "Direct investment is definitely a goal of our (infrastructure) programme. We have a target of $5 billion and we will be implementing that over a multi-year period," Christine Yokan told the Infrastructure Investor Europe conference in Berlin on Friday. CalPERS, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, has $860 million committed to infrastructure, most through private equity funds such those of Carlyle and Alinda, according to its latest quarterly performance report. But its $155 million acquisition of a 12.7 percent equity interest in London's Gatwick Airport from Global Infrastructure Partners in June 2010 marked its entry into the direct M&A infrastructure universe, which the major Canadian pension funds are more accustomed to.