NORTH AMERICA – Ivanhoé Cambridge, the real estate subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has joined forces with Goldman Sachs, Greystar Real Estate Partners and a number of unnamed partners to acquire a $1.5bn (€1.15bn) portfolio of 27 multi-residential properties in the US.

Goldman Sachs and Greystar bought the properties from Equity Residential earlier in the year. Ivanhoé’s investment share was not disclosed.

The club deal is one of the Montreal-based firm’s largest investments and the biggest in the multi-residential sector.

The portfolio, which was built mainly between 1999 and 2000, consists of 8010 units located in core strategic locations across the country with strong economic and job growth potential, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, Washington DC, Northern New Jersey, South Florida, Phoenix and Denver.

The partners have agreed to embark upon a multi-year maintenance and renovation investment programme for all the assets.

Sylvain Fortier, executive vice president, residential and hotels of the firm, said: “Ivanhoé Cambridge’s significant participation in this transaction aligns perfectly with our strategic plan to seize promising real estate investment opportunities and increase our critical mass with a well-distributed diversification in priority US markets.”

The company has been selling assets, including hotels, to focus on residential units, office buildings and shopping centres where returns are more predictable.

Real estate values in the US are about 80% from their peak before the last recession whereas values in Canada are at record highs. Over the past year, Ivanhoé has partnered with real estate firm Hines to develop an office tower in Chicago, teamed up with TPG Real Estate and DivcoWest in the $400m acquisition of a Silicon Valley office and flex portfolio, and joined private investment company, The Swig Company, in the purchase of an office building in Manhattan.