WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ullico Inc. today announced it has closed its first infrastructure investment deal. The investment will make critical capital improvements to the water and wastewater infrastructure of Rialto, California. It is estimated by Rialto Water Services that these improvements will produce 445 jobs for members of the local building and construction trades.
“At Ullico, we believe that investing in infrastructure requires applying best practices like having long-term public and private partners, building strong community-driven solutions and having local partners, including local unions and local union contractors,” said Edward M. Smith, president and CEO of Ullico Inc. “Our program focuses on investing in projects where the municipal partners and our investment partners share this philosophy. The capital improvements will be done with union labor, in accordance with our strong pro-organized labor contracting policies, which maximize the use of firms that employ union workers. We are proud to make this Ullico's first infrastructure investment.”
For over 35 years, Ullico has invested in commercial real estate projects through its flagship $2.3 billion commercial real estate investment vehicle, The Union Labor Life Insurance Company's Separate Account J. Known as “J for Jobs,” it has a track record of delivering attractive and competitive fixed-income performance to institutional investors, while at the same time creating thousands of jobs for union members.
For this investment, Ullico Inc., through its infrastructure business, is participating as the majority equity investor in Rialto Water Services (RWS). RWS recently reached financial close on a 30-year concession with the City of Rialto to outsource and upgrade the City's water and wastewater services. This investment is intended to improve a critical component of the City's infrastructure. RWS is jointly owned by an affiliate of Ullico Inc. and Table Rock Capital.
The City of Rialto will retain full ownership of the water and wastewater systems, water rights, and public authority for rate setting. Veolia Water West Operating Services will operate and maintain the City's water and wastewater system through a long-term contract with RWS.
“It is important that infrastructure assets— designed to last 50 or even 100 years—be viewed as long term businesses essential to a community, and not simply as construction projects,” said Sonia M. Axter, Managing Director of Infrastructure Investments at Ullico Investment Company, Inc. “These assets are important to the provision of basic services, such as clean water and electricity, and critical to long term economic health of a community. Like any typical business there will be daily operations, revenue collection, maintenance and capital improvement projects and it is our responsibility to manage these aspects of the business during our tenure. And like any prudent investment in a business, our investment in RWS reflects our belief that there will be competitive rates of return over the long-term.”
“With the growing pressures on city and municipal budgets, private dollars will be essential to maintaining and improving the infrastructure that serves people all across this country. We intend to make sound, prudent investments in communities, both large and small, that meet a critical need,” said Joseph Linehan, president of Ullico Investment Advisors, Inc.
Ullico Inc. is a labor-owned insurance and financial services company based in Washington, D.C. The Ullico family of companies includes The Union Labor Life Insurance Company; Ullico Casualty Company; Ullico Casualty Group Inc.; Ullico Investment Advisors, Inc; and Ullico Investment Company, Inc. Ullico's investment team included Jeff Murphy, vice president, and Sonia Axter, managing director of infrastructure investments, Ullico Investment Advisors, Inc. Table Rock Capital was an investment partner. Barclays and Goldman Sachs served as underwriters on the senior debt offering. Ullico was advised by Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP and Davis LLP (Vancouver office) on the transaction.
For 85 years, Ullico, the only labor-owned insurance and investment company, has been a proud partner of the labor movement, keeping union families safe and secure. From insurance products that protect union members, leaders and employers, to investments in building projects that have created thousands of union jobs, our customers continue to trust us with protecting their families, employees, businesses and investments. For additional information, visit www.ullico.com.
For more information, contact:
Johanna R. Lucas
William K. Cavanagh
Ullico Investment Company, Inc.