GLOBAL – The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has signed an agreement to acquire a 27.6% interest in Aliansce Shopping Centres in Brazil from General Growth Properties for $480m (€362m). 

The deal is expected to close sometime this fall.

Peter Ballon, vice-president and head of real estate investments for the Americas at CPPIB, said: "Acquiring an interest in Alliance allows us to gain scale in a key target segment with a diversified portfolio of high-quality, modern shopping centres located throughout Brazil, including the economically dominant Southeast and fast-growing Northeast regions."

The pension fund believes now is a particularly good time to invest in Brazilian retail. 

"We are a long-term investor, and our objective is to invest in properties, in attractive sectors, that will retain their relative value across multiple business cycles," CPPIB said in a statement.

"We will continue to see a growing middle class in the country, which brings demand for high-quality commercial real estate in areas where they work, reside and consume."

Aliansce owns a retail portfolio totalling 800,000 square meters, covering 17 stabilised assets and two development projects. 

The properties are located in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Belém and Belo Horizonte and include a mixture of regional and super-regional malls.

CPPIB had a sizeable real estate portfolio in Brazil prior to the investment in Aliansce, valued at CAD900m (€660m). 

The pension fund is still looking for additional investment opportunities in South America, particularly Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico and Peru.

Separately, CPPIB has also sold a 50% interest in the Carrefour de I'Estrie shopping centre in Quebec's Eastern Township region for as much as CAD200m. 

The sale was done as part of a joint venture with Ivanhoe Cambridge.