Canadian Pension Plan invests $335.5m on home soil

The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board has acquired an 8-stong shopping centre portfolio, which includes the Hillside Centre in Victoria, for $335.5m including the assumption of $105 million of debt.

The CPP Investment Board (CPPIB), which invests capital on behalf of Canada’s $130 billion Canadian Pension Plan, has led the acquisition of eight shopping centres in Canada.

The centres, which include the 431,000 square foot Hillside Centre in Victoria, were bought using $230.5 million of the pension fund’s equity although the investments include the assumption of $105 million of existing debt.

The Hillside Centre was purchased from the Ontario Pension board, the pension fund manager for Ontario public employees, while the other seven were acquired from Osmington Inc. They total 5.4 million square feet of space. CPPIB now owns 100 percent of five of the assets and 90 percent of the other two.

Peter Ballon, CPPIB’s Vice-President and Head of Real Estate Investments – Americas, said in an announcement on the investments: “These acquisitions expand our footprint in the Canadian retail sector which is a strategic asset class within our real estate portfolio. Canadian regional malls of this quality seldom come to market and this was an excellent opportunity for us to invest in eight prime assets in key markets.”

The real estate portfolio of CPPIB had an equity value of $7.9 billion as at 30 June this year of which $3.6 billion represented Canadian investments. Its portfolio includes offices, retail and industrial assets and spans geographies including Canada, the UK, the US, Mexico, Brazil, continental Europe and Asia Pacific.