The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said Wednesday it has struck a joint-venture deal with a U.S. firm to acquire stakes in two retail malls in St. Louis. 

CPPIB is acquiring a 45 per cent interest in Plaza Frontenac, while its U.S. partner, General Growth Properties Inc. of Chicago, will hold the other 55 per cent.

Plaza Frontenac is a high-end mall with 482,000 square feet of leasable space, with Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus stores as its anchor tenants.

CPPIB is also acquiring a 26 per cent in Saint Louis Galleria, a large regional mall with 165 stores.

"This joint venture expands the geographic diversity of CPPIB's U.S. real estate portfolio with the addition of two premier malls," said Peter Ballon, a vice-president responsible for CPPIB's real estate investments in the Americas.

General Growth Properties, a major owner of U.S. malls, is 38 per cent owned by Brookfield Asset Management of Toronto.

CPPIB invests the funds not needed by the Canada Pension Plan to pay current benefits.