GLOBAL - US asset manager TIAA-CREF has acquired a UK shopping centre and adjoining car park for a reported £280m (€353m).

Festival Place, previously owned by the Grosvenor Festival Place fund, was completed in 2002 and has been partly owned by the Grosvenor family company since the fund's launch in 1999.

In a statement, the $481bn (€382bn) pension provider for the US academic sector said the centre was the "dominant" retail property in the southern English council of Hampshire.

Commenting on the deal, Anthony Butler, director of real estate investment management at TIAA-CREF Asset Management UK, said: "Festival Place fits with our long-term strategy to invest in high-quality, regionally dominant shopping centres."

He added that he looked forward to working with the local council to improve the shopping experience for consumers.

Tony Christie, head of retail at Grosvenor Fund Management, added: "The sale of Festival Place to TIAA-CREF reflects the winding-down of Grosvenor Festival Place fund, which soon comes to the end of its life.

"We will now be looking to reinvest Grosvenor's share of the sale proceeds back into the UK retail sector."

TIAA-CREF currently allocates more than $18bn of assets to real estate and is also active in infrastructure and natural resources, recently acquiring a majority stake in timberland investment company GreenWood Resources.

It previously launched an agricultural joint venture with partners including the Swedish buffer fund AP2, targeting land in the US, Australia and Brazil.