GLOBAL - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has spent C$230.5m (€167m) to acquire interests in eight shopping centres in Canada.

The gross purchase price of the interests is C$33.5m, but the deals involved the CPPIB assuming $105m of debt.

The gross purchase price of these acquisitions is C$335.5m, including the proportionate assumption of $105m of debt.

The biggest single acquisition was a 100% interest in the 431,000 square foot Hillside Centre in Victoria, acquired from Ontario Pension Board, the pension fund for Ontario public employees, for C$113.5m.

CPPIB acquired the additional interests in seven shopping centres, representing 5.4m square feet of leasable space, from private real estate firm Osmington for C$222m.

CPPIB already owned 80% stakes in the seven shopping centres, but now owns 100% stakes in five and 90% stakes in two.

Peter Ballon, vice-president and head of real estate investments for the Americas at CPPIB, said: "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."

He added: "Hillside Centre represents our first investment in Victoria and increases our presence in British Columbia.

"With the portfolio of seven regional malls, we already have extensive knowledge of these assets through our existing majority ownership interests."

Latest figures show the CPPIB has less than half of its real estate assets invested in its domestic market, or C$3.6bn of its C$7.9bn global allocation.