UK - A 50—50 joint venture involving the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and fund manager Henderson Global Investors has acquired the UK's Whitefriars Quarter shopping centre for £253m (€375m).

The CA$116.6bn (€79.9bn) board, which invests Canada's national pension fund assets, acquired the Kent city-centre retail centre from UK property firm Land Securities.

Graeme Eadie, head of CPP real estate, declined to disclose the expected yield but said reasons for the acquisition were "a combination of the opportunity we had; strong, stable markets; and a decent yield over time".

Eadie told IPE Real Estate the acquisition provided "a good opportunity" for the pension fund to develop a broad base of shopping centres as the core of its retail portfolio strategy.

"Shopping centres have a pretty good profile in terms of risk and yield," said Eadie.

The pension scheme has also invested £150m in Henderson's UK Shopping Centre Fund, which already has a portfolio of four other UK shopping centres.

However, Eadie did not rule our further investment in bricks-and-mortar assets, stating CPP will "evaluate the situation".

He added the scheme had opted for joint ventures as a means of ensuring control over its directly invested real estate allocation, so CPP is planning further, unspecified joint ventures with Henderson.

"They bring us closer to the asset and give us more influence over how it is managed," said Eadie.