Calpers acquires 12.7 percent stake in Gatwick Airport

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Calpers, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, said on Friday it had committed up to roughly $155 million (104.8 million pounds) to Global Infrastructure Partners for a 12.7 percent equity stake in London’s Gatwick Airport.

The commitment marks the first direct infrastructure investment foray by Calpers, the $200 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

It covers the equity purchase price and provisions for bridge costs and future administrative expenses, Calpers said in a statement.

“We are looking for opportunities to invest directly in high-quality infrastructure assets. We see it as a good fit for our burgeoning infrastructure program,” said George Diehr, chairman of Calpers’ investment committee.

Earlier this year, Global Infrastructure Partners, founded by Credit Suisse and General Electric, sold stakes in Gatwick to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, and to South Korea’s National Pension Service. (Reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by Leslie Adler)