February 2, 2010 / 1:32 AM / 8 years ago

South Korea's NPS in $160 million Gatwick airport stake deal

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s National Pension Service said Tuesday it planned to buy a 12 percent stake in London’s Gatwick Airport for around 100 million pounds ($159.6 million) to increase investment in alternative assets.

A formal signing of the deal between the world’s fifth-largest pension fund and private equity fund Global Infrastructure Partners will be made next week, a NPS official said, confirming an earlier report in the Financial Times.

The private equity fund, controlled by Credit Suisse CSGN.VX and General Electric (GE.N), bought London’s second biggest airport last year from British airport management group BAA Airports FERBA.UL, majority owned by Spain’s Ferrovial FER1.MC.

    A spokesman for Global Infrastructure Partners declined to comment on the report.

    NPS, with around 274 trillion won ($236.3 billion) in assets, aims to boost investments in assets such as real estate, infrastructure and private equity funds to 6.4 percent this year from 4.5 percent as of end-November, and has been building a global presence in the past year.

    It bought global bank HSBC’s (HSBA.L) landmark European headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf for 772.5 million pounds in November in one of the world’s biggest property transactions last year.

    In January, the fund agreed a buy a prime office building in Sydney for 750 billion won.

    Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Additional Reporting by Susan Fenton; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner

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