GLOBAL – The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has acquired a stake in the Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham, England for €307m from the Future Fund.
Graeme Eadie, senior vice-president and head of real estate investments at CPPIB, said: "This transaction provides CPPIB with further scale and opportunity in Bullring and is in line with our UK retail strategy of investing in high-quality assets in major locations with strong growth potential.
"We are pleased to expand our relationship with Hammerson, one of Europe's leading retail property companies, which we know well having worked together successfully on other investments."
The ownership of Bullring now consists of three investment companies.
Hammerson holds a 50% stake – it had owned a 33.3% interest before the transaction with CPPIB – while the pension fund holds a 16.7% piece.
The Henderson Shopping Centre Fund controls the remaining interest.
CPPIB made a €150m commitment into this commingled fund in June of 2007.
David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive, said: "This is an excellent opportunity to enhance our position in one of the UK's strongest shopping destinations at an attractive entry price.
"Bullring is an iconic centre that has performed well since opening in 2003.
"I am confident in the future success of Bullring as consumer demand for venues that offer exceptional experiences continues to rise."
The pension fund considers Bullring – currently 99% leased and anchored by Selfridges and Debenhams – a core asset.
According to a spokesman at CPPIB, the pension fund will continue to seek retail opportunities in the UK that meet its investment criteria of high-quality core properties expected to deliver stable and growing long-term cash flows and retain their relative value across multiple business cycles.
CPPIB already has a large retail presence in the UK, holding a retail portfolio in the country valued at CAD1.8bn (€1.4bn), as of the end of 2012.
It has a total real estate portfolio in the UK valued at CAD2.85bn.
Most of this is in retail and office assets, although the fund has also expressed an interest in logistics/warehouse properties.