Allianz Capital Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) – through its subsidiary, CPP Investment Board Europe – signed an agreement yesterday with Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) to acquire a 20% minority equity interest in its gas distribution business in Spain (GNDB).

Both Allianz and CPPIB have considerable experience investing in regulated utilities.

According to a release, Allianz Capital Partners (on behalf of the Allianz Group) and CPPIB will finance EUR 1,500 million (approximately C$2,239 million) for the 20% equity interest – Allianz’s equity investment being EUR 600 million and CPPIB EUR 900 million. The transaction is expected to close by January 2018, subject to certain regulatory approvals.

Post-transaction, GNF will continue to own an 80% equity shareholding in GNDB.

“GNDB represents an attractive opportunity for our customers and is fully aligned with our investment strategy of investing in core infrastructure assets,” said Allianz Capital Partners chief investment officer Christian Fingerle in a statement. “We are very pleased to be entering into a new partnership with GNF as a leading international energy group and look forward to further strengthening our relationship with GNF and CPPIB and to support the continued success of this high quality business.”

“GNDB is a core infrastructure asset that fits well with CPPIB’s infrastructure portfolio, providing long-term stable cash flows for the CPP Fund. We look forward to establishing an enduring partnership with GNF and Allianz in this world-class business, and in adding to our investments in Spain,” added CPPIB managing director, global head of infrastructure Cressida Hogg.

GNDB is the largest gas distribution network in Spain, a release said. It has over 5.3 million connection points and serves about 1,100 municipalities.