Ivanhoé Cambridge in £112m London office buy

The real estate arm of Canada’s second-largest pension fund has acquired a core office property in London as it looks to expand its investments in the region.

Ivanhoé Cambridge, the real estate arm of Canada’s second-largest pension fund, La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has acquired a core office asset in London for £112 million (€142.52 million; $174.98 million) from real estate investment firm Hines’ Global REIT.

Located in central London, Stonecutter Court is a Grade A office property of 150,000 square feet, which is currently leased to the global consulting firm Deloitte.

“London is one of the key European cities in which Ivanhoé Cambridge wants to build a critical mass of high-quality assets,” Meka Brunel, executive vice president, Europe for the Montreal-based firm said in a statement. “Stonecutter Court’s location in Midtown and its overall features respond precisely to our long term investment objectives.”

London- based property firm Greycoat represented Ivanhoé in the deal while the global property services firm DTZ acted for Hines Global REIT.

Ross Blair, senior managing director of Hines UK, said: “Since we acquired the asset there have been significant developments commenced in the local area which continue to improve this part of the city. We are pleased with the speed at which we were able to complete this transaction.”

La Caisse, which manages the pension plan assets of workers in Canada’s Québec province, has approximately C$200 billion (€142.32 billion; $174.73 billion) worth of assets, of which 11 percent represent real estate holdings.

Ivanhoé, operating as a standalone company of the pension plan, has been investing in shopping centres, office buildings and multifamily properties in Canada , the US, Europe and Asia. Led by Bill Tresham, who oversees global real estate investments, the firm has been actively expanding its global real estate portfolio, with plans of increasing investments in logistics assets across the US and Asia.

In Europe, it is in the process of shifting its strategy towards a greater focus on London and Paris, as it offloads assets in other regions. It has built up a large residential portfolio in London, for instance, having acquired 11 assets in the last two years with its local partner Residential Land.

As of December 2013, Ivanhoe had C$40 billion assets under management.