Finnish pension insurance company Elo has doubled its stake in a Helsinki shopping centre to 70%, following a deal with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) worth almost a quarter of a billion euros.

The €22.6bn Finnish investor said has become a majority shareholder in the Jumbo shopping mall, by acquiring URW’s entire 34% stake for €248.6m.

Timo Stenius, director in charge of unlisted investments at Elo, said: “There is a lot going on in the metropolitan shopping centre market and competition has intensified with new openings.

“Active management and long-term development of the best shopping centres provide a good opportunity to respond to the changing demands of consumers and the changes in retail trade,” he added.

Elo said Jumbo is Finland’s largest shopping centre, with sales totalling over €400m per year, and that it has maintained this top spot for several years in a row.

URW’s sold its stake as part of a €3bn asset disposal plan the company announced in December of 2017, which it announced on 13 Feb had been increased to a target of €6bn.

Lars-Ake Tollemark, regional chief executive of the Nordics for URW said: “This disposal will enable us to concentrate further on strategic assets in the Nordics with significant re-development and mixed-use opportunities.”

The shopping centre, which comprises of 85,000sqm of leasable space and draws in around 12m visitors per year, is situated south of the Aviapolis area.

Elo also currently holds an approximate 25% stake in Finnish shopping centre Sello and has shares in a number of other malls.

The pension provider said its investments of this type focus on shopping centres that “have the capacity to meet the challenges of the changing retail market”.