CPPIB Reshuffles Executives and Invests in Viking Cruise Line; ADIC Attempts to Offload a Portfolio of Private Equity Commitments — Again

September 16, 2016 by SWC Editors

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Viking River Cruises
A Viking River Cruises ship docks outside Cologne Cathedral on the Rhine River in Cologne, Germany.
Image: Rolf Heinrich, Köln.

Canadian pension fund manager Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) revealed a new $250 million investment this week as it took a stake in the parent company of cruise-ship operator Viking Cruises alongside buyout firm TPG — and reshuffled its private equity team. The Abu Dhabi Investment Council made a fresh attempt to sell some of its private equity fund commitments, with an asking price of $1.5 billion. And three government funds — Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Kuwait Investment Authority and the State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman — were among institutions investing in a new platform that will develop electricity projects in India.

Cruise and Control: CPPIB’s Latest Investment Coincides with Senior Manager Shakeup

Canadian pension fund manager Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has invested $250 million in Californian travel services firm MISA Investments, the parent company of cruise-ship operator Viking Cruises. CPPIB invested alongside U.S. private-equity firm TPG to acquire a 17 percent stake in MISA Investments for a total investment of $500 million, with each party receiving half of this stake. Viking Cruises plans to use the capital injection to support and accelerate its growth plans, particularly in the Chinese cruise market to take advantage of the country’s huge and rapidly-growing middle class. Viking Cruises is also about to open a new route starting in New Orleans and traveling north, up the Mississippi River, calling in at various cities along the way, including Memphis, Tennessee, St. Louis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Viking plans to expand its new U.S. route to include six vessels by 2019.

Just as CPPIB announced its latest investment, however, one of its executives set sail for the private sector: Mark Jenkins, formerly CPPIB’s global head of private equity, left the fund to join Washington, D.C.-based private equity behemoth the Carlyle Group.

Jenkins’ departure sparked a reshuffle, including the creation of a new real-assets division, which will combine CPPIB’s agriculture, infrastructure and real estate groups under one umbrella. Graeme Eadie will lead this merged division; he has been at CPPIB for more than ten years and most recently served as the fund’s global head of real estate investments.

CPPIB also announced two other appointments: Shane Feeney, previously the fund’s head of direct private equity, became its global head of private investments. Feeney has been at CPPIB for six years. Ryan Selwood, meanwhile, was elevated to head of private equity. Selwood, a ten-year veteran of CPPIB, will now be responsible for overseeing co-sponsorships and other direct private equity transactions. Prior to his new appointment, Selwood headed CPPIB’s direct private equity activities in Europe.

If At First You Don’t Succeed...

The Abu Dhabi Invest Council (ADIC), one of the emirate’s sovereign investors, is reportedly attempting another secondary sale of some of its private equity fund commitments, believed to be worth approximately $1.5 billion. ADIC pulled out of a similar sale in August last year, despite coming close to striking a deal with Paris-based private equity secondary specialist Ardian. Ardian has a longstanding interest in such assets; it bought a similar portfolio from ADIC’s compatriot, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, in 2014 for $2 billion. However, ADIC and Ardian could not come to an agreement over the price of ADIC’s portfolio and New York-based investment adviser Evercore Partners, which ADIC hired to find bidders for the initial sale, struggled to find any other interested parties.

Now, ADIC is looking to dispose of the array of fund commitments — which are said to primarily originate with American and European private equity managers — for portfolio management reasons.

Government Funds Tap into Growing Demand for Electricity in India with New Platform

Three government funds — Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and the State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman, known as SGRF — are among the investors in a new platform that will develop electricity projects in India over the next three years. Demand for electricity is growing rapidly in India, both among domestic consumers — as more homes are attached to electricity grids — and in the commercial sector. The platform will target acquisition of controlling stakes in power-generating companies, both thermal and hydroelectric, and transmission assets in India.

Tata Power International, a Singapore-based subsidiary of Indian utilities firm Tata Power Co., and ICICI Venture Fund Management Co., a private equity arm of Mumbai-based banking group ICICI Bank, set up the platform, which is known as Resurgent Power Ventures. Resurgent will be jointly owned by CDPQ, ICICI Bank, KIA, SGRF and Tata Power International — and has already secured an initial commitment from investors of approximately $850 million. Although the commitment by the three government funds was not disclosed, the combined amount is said to be approximately $650 million.

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