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May 17, 2021

USS acquires 50% stake in Bruc Energy for $281m

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has invested $281m in Spanish and Portugal investment vehicle Bruc Energy for a 50% stake.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), a UK-based private pension fund, has acquired a 50% stake in Bruc Energy, which develops renewable energy projects in Spain and Portugal.

USS has invested £200m ($281m) in return for the stake in a 4GW pipeline of solar photovoltaic farms.

Bruc Energy was created by Canadian pension fund OPTrust and Spanish businessman Juan Béjar.

The transaction was arranged by USS Investment Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of USS.

USS Investment Management CEO Simon Pilcher said: “We have already invested or committed around £1bn to renewable energy and demand for this will only increase as more and more countries transition to lower carbon.

“This announcement closely follows on from our stated ambition to become net-zero by 2050, so this transaction and others like it will be a key plank of our strategy going forward.”

The deal’s completion is subject to various conditions, including regulatory approval.

Upon completion, Bruc Energy will be owned 50% by USS and BROP, a vehicle owned by OPTrust and Mr Béjar.

Mr Béjar will be Bruc Energy’s president, while Luis Venero will serve as its CEO.

Mr Béjar said: “This partnership is a key step to establishing Bruc as one of the more dynamic players in the renewables industry in Spain, because it ensures access to the funds to develop our current portfolio.

“All three shareholders of Bruc Energy share a long-term vision, but also the ambition and the social responsibility to counter the effects of climate change in the short-term.”

OPTrust managing director Morgan McCormick said: “We are excited to have USS join Bruc Energy building on our strong existing relationship.

“Their investment will help Bruc become one of the leading renewable energy platforms in Spain.

“At OPTrust, we believe that investing in renewable energy helps transitions the world to a more sustainable economy. In doing so, we can continue to deliver on our mission of paying pensions today and preserving pensions for tomorrow.”

Royal Bank of Canada, Greenhill and Nomura served as advisors for the transaction.

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