Canada's national pension fund has struck separate deals totalling $335.5 million for stakes in eight shopping centres across the country.


The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board says it benefited from a rare opportunity in purchasing several malls. (Ramya Jegatheesan/CBC)

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will pay $113.5 million for the Hillside Centre in Victoria, owned by the Ontario Pension Board.

"Hillside Centre represents our first investment in Victoria and increases our presence in British Columbia," CPPIB vice-president Peter Ballon said.

In a separate transaction, the board will pay $222 million to Osmington Inc. to increase the CPP's stake in seven other malls across the country, whose total leasable commercial space adds up to 5.4 million square feet.

"These acquisitions expand our footprint in the Canadian retail sector, which is a strategic asset class within our real estate portfolio," Ballon said.

When the transaction closes, CPPIB will own 100 per cent of the Pine Centre mall in Prince George, B.C., the White Oaks malls in London, Ont., Eastgate Square in Stoney Creek, Ont., the Sudbury Centre in Sudbury, Ont., and the Intercity Shopping Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont.

It will also own 90 per cent of Les Galeries de la Capitale in Quebec City and Carrefour de L'Estrie in Sherbrooke, Que.

"Canadian retail malls of this quality seldom come to market, and this was an excellent oppotunity for us to invest in eight prime assets in key markets," Ballon said.

CPPIB's real estate portfolio was valued at $7.9 billion in late June, $3.6 billion of which comes from Canadian-based assets.

The CPPIB had total assets of $129.7 billion at the end of its last fiscal year, a 22.1 per cent improvement over the previous year.