LaSalle attracts new capital for C$1bn Canadian real estate fund

LaSalle Investment Management’s flagship Canadian real estate fund has grown to more than C$1bn (€668m) after raising C$350m of new equity and acquiring two assets.

The LaSalle Canada Property Fund (LCPF) was launched in December 2017 when an unnamed institutional investor seeded the vehicle with a C$440m portfolio and offered to provide a further C$310m of assets.

LaSalle said it has since raised C$350m from a “diverse group of foreign institutions” and acquired real estate assets in Ottawa and Calgary, taking the gross asset value to more than C$1bn.

LaSalle did not dislcose the identity of the investors, but said they included a “multilateral government pension fund” and a “European-based global financial institution”. The latter is accessing the fund through a parallel structure in Luxembourg.

The identify of the investor that provided the seed portfolio is still unknown, but is likely to be a large Canadian investor. The Canadian real estate market is dominated by large domestic investors and can be difficult for foreign investors to access.

John McKinlay, LaSalle Canada CEO, said: ”Since launching the fund eight months ago, there has been significant global investor interest, which we think demonstrates the sustained demand for core real estate assets in Canada as a stabilised investment opportunity in North America.”

On 2 August, LCPF acquired a 33% interest in Minto Place, which consists of three class-A office towers, a retail podium and a four-level parking garage in the central business district of Ottawa. The stake was sold by Ottawa-based Minto Group.

On 31 July, the fund acquired Market at Quarry Park, a grocery-anchored shopping centre in Calgary developed in 2009 by Remington.

Stephen Robertson, head of acquisitions in Canada for LaSalle, said: “The acquisitions of Minto Place and Market at Quarry Park make excellent additions to the LCPF portfolio and provide further diversification to the fund’s existing national portfolio of major market investments.

“LaSalle is very positive about the near-term growth prospects in the City of Ottawa, as the market continues to be driven by technology tenants and government stability.”

Roberston said the Quarry Park area of Calgary “will continue to densify, and the current softness in the Alberta market provides a good entry point”.

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