March 20, 2012 / 2:17 PM / 6 years ago

CPPIB delves deeper into Vancouver real estate market

* Announces acquisition of 50 pct stake in two buildings

* Total equity investment of C$115 million before closing costs

* Brings Vancouver office portfolio to six buildings

TORONTO, March 20 (Reuters) - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which has been aggressively building its real estate portfolio, announced a further investment on Tuesday in the prime office real estate market in Vancouver, Canada’s most expensive property market.

The CPPIB, which invests on behalf of 18 million Canadians, said it has bought a 50 percent stake in two downtown Vancouver office properties worth C$230 million ($232.83 million). The CPPIB’s equity investment, before closing costs, adjustments and working capital, is C$115 million.

The other half is owned by Oxford Properties, the real estate investing arm of OMERS, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, another major Canadian pension fund and the CPPIB’s largest real estate partner.

“The downtown Vancouver office market is very attractive for long-term investors such as CPPIB,” Peter Ballon, the fund’s vice-president and head of real estate investments, said in a statement.

The acquisitions expand CPPIB’s Vancouver office real estate portfolio to six buildings in a market where quality assets rarely exchange hands.

CPPIB is on the hunt for real estate acquisitions, mostly interested in property in emerging powerhouses such as Brazil and China, but it also has its eye on more established centers.

The fund, which has investing horizons going out as far as 75 years, had a C$14.4 billion real estate portfolio as of Dec. 31, equal to 9.5 percent of its assets.

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