OMERS PE to Acquire U.K. Utilities Contractor Network Plus

By Mario Marroquin

Defined-benefit Canadian pension plan Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System has entered an agreement to acquire U.K.-based utility and infrastructure contractor Network Plus.

The acquisition by OMERS comes three months after OMERS Infrastructure penned a deal to acquire energy asset developer, builder and operator Groendus via joint venture with APG in the Netherlands.

The pension plan’s subsidiary, OMERS Private Equity, and Livingbridge agreed to trade the infrastructure service asset July 11.

“We are excited, not only by the significant whitespace remaining in core markets, but also by opportunities to expand into adjacent sectors with the same need for recurring repair, maintenance and investment services and where customer safety and service are paramount,” said Simon Jones, director at OMERS Private Equity Europe. 

Network Plus, which services water, telecommunication, downstream and midstream energy assets across the U.K., was valued at around $718 million, according to Bloomberg. The company employs over 5,000 individuals across 85 regional offices and depots, and services assets operated by Yorkshire Water, Openreach, Electricity North West and UK Power Networks, to name a few.

As OMERS has continued to deploy capitals towards infrastructure and ancillary infrastructure, the retirement system has also adjusted its exposure in the same sector in developing markets.

OMERS and energy firm Enagas of Chile agreed to sell their joint interest (80%) of the GNL Quintero liquefied natural gas facility in Valpariso to a venture by EIG and Fluxys S.A. earlier this year. At the time, OMERS Infrastructure said it would redeploy proceeds from the transaction to focus on energy transition, mobility, connectivity, community, and natural systems.