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USS invests in The Airline Group

20 November 2013

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Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USS) has announced that it will acquire a 49.9% non-controlling stake in The Airline Group Limited.

The transaction was arranged by USS Investment Management Limited (USSIM), a wholly owned subsidiary of USS and its principal investment manager and advisor, and it will also manage the investment on USS's behalf.

Completion of the transaction remains subject to clearance from the European Commission.

The investment will be managed by USSIM's infrastructure team and the fund said that in general it finds UK infrastructure attractive for its members as it can provide inflation-linked, steady cash flows over a long time horizon, which matches USS's long-term liabilities.

USSIM head of private markets Mike Powell said: "This is another significant investment for the scheme and its members in a high quality infrastructure company. The growth of our infrastructure portfolio by our in house team is a compelling model for the trustee board in meeting its long term commitments to members."

The Airline Group is a 41.9% shareholder in NATS Holdings Limited, the holding company for NATS which provides air traffic management.

Gavin Merchant, USSIM senior investment manager for infrastructure, said: "NATS is the global leader in air traffic control and is a strong example of where private and public ownership has worked together to build a national asset of strategic importance.

"NATS is well positioned to maintain its high level of safety performance and to drive operational improvement through innovation. We look forward to working with the existing shareholders and the management team in delivering these objectives."

First published 20.11.2013