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Venture backed by Canada’s OTTP and PSP in €453m Brazilian wind power deal

OTTP names former ATP CIO Graven Larsen as its new investment chief

Cubico Sustainable Investments, a joint venture founded by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) and Banco Santander, has made its biggest investment to date, acquiring Brazilian wind parks with a combined capacity of 392MW for R$2bn (€453m).

The seller of the wind parks is Casa dos Ventos Energias Renovaveis SA, the project developer which will operate the parks post-acqusition. The deal was revealed in an interview
that Eduardo Klepacz, Cubico’s Brazilian Head, conducted with Bloomberg.

Klepacz said that as a result of the acquisition, Cubico owned 615MW of wind power capacity in Brazil. “The renewable energy sector is attracting investors from outside and inside Brazil. The acquisition increases our footprint in Latin America, a region where we want to grow,” Klepacz told Bloomberg. He added that Cubico aimed to double its size within five years.

To launch Cubico last May, Santander transferred a portfolio of 19 wind, solar and water infrastructure assets worth $2bn (€1.8bn). The assets have a combined power capacity of 1.4GW and beyond Brazil, are located in Mexico, Uruguay, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK.Based in London, Cubico’s Chief Executive is Marcos Sebares, who was Head of Santander’s former Asset & Capital Structuring (A&CS) team. The 30 professionals of that team now work for Cubico. Santander and the two pension schemes each own a third of the venture.

In related news, OTTP, which has C$154.5bn (€99bn) in assets, has named Bjarne Graven Larsen, as its new Chief Investment Officer, effective February 1.

Larsen will be based in OTTP’s base of Toronto, reporting to the scheme’s CEO Ron Mock. Larsen joins OTTP from Novo A/S, an investment affiliate of Danish health care firm Novo Nordisk, where he served as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that assignment, he was CIO of ATP, the DKK700bn (€93bn) pension scheme.

Larsen served as ATP’s CIO between 1999 and 2010. In 2006, ATP became the first Danish asset owner to sign up to the Principles for Responsible Investor (PRI). In December 2013, however, it left the initiative over serious concerns about how the PRI was then governed.

Said Mock of Larsen: “With his investment expertise, global experience, forward thinking on risk management, and importantly, hands-on work within a total return framework, Bjarne is uniquely positioned to be our Chief Investment Officer.”