British insurer Legal & General has announced its first infrastructure deal in the US, investing around US$100 million (£76.6 million) to help a university in California expand its campus.
The company said the transaction is part of a roughly US$660 million financing package that will enable the University of California, Merced campus nearly double in size.
The campus expansion will allow the university to grow its research and teaching programmes, the insurance firm said.
Legal & General said the new deal is its first-ever public–private partnership in the US educational sector.
The transaction is also part of the insurer’s strategy to target real asset deals which provide high quality long-term returns to match pension liabilities.
Building on the company’s fast-expanding activities in the US, the deal also supports plans to invest in infrastructure, direct investments and urban regeneration projects.
“This first infrastructure deal in the US shows the growing number of tools in our box to ensure we secure long-term returns to match our liabilities,” Legal & General Retirement managing director Kerrigan Procter said in a statement.
“We continue to be drawn towards social infrastructure and it doesn’t get more attractive than this when the underlying asset is being developed for one of the world’s leading universities,” he added.
The University of California is one of the largest state-run universities in the world and the biggest public university system in the US. It has 10 campuses, six medical schools, five academic medical centres and three national laboratories.
The university’s expansion project consists of 13 buildings and will be delivered in three phases between 2018 and 2020.
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