LONDON Oct 7 British mall owner Intu Properties
said it had teamed up with Canada Pension Plan
Investment Board to buy a shopping centre in northern Spain,
marking the beginning of a partnership with the North American
The two paid 162 million euros ($220 million) for the 75,000
square metre-large Parque Principado Shopping Centre in
Asturias, implying a net initial yield of 7.2 percent. The mall,
which opened in 2001, is 97 percent occupied and had 9 million
visitors in 2012.
Intu said it wanted to attract additional third party
capital to help fund its Spanish activities and was exploring
the creation of a Spanish REIT for this purpose.
"After a difficult period, the Spanish economy appears to be
stabilising. Limited investor competition currently provides a
contra-cyclical opportunity to acquire large, high quality
centres at historically low pricing," Intu said.
"A further positive feature of the acquisition is entering
into partnership with a major and highly regarded global
investor, CPPIB, and we look forward to extending this
relationship," it said.
CPPIB, Canada's national pension fund, has been actively
snapping up real estate across Europe and recent investments
include stakes in a Swedish and British shopping centre.
Intu, which owns some of Britain's largest malls, first
entered Spain in January 2012 when it purchased an option on a
retail development plot from its biggest shareholder, drawing a
wave of negative feedback from investors and analysts who
questioned the rationale.