July 25, 2007
(Toronto, ON and London, UK) July 25, 2007: Henderson Global Investors (HGI) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the investment management organization that invests Canada’s national pension fund assets, announce today that they have signed an agreement to acquire Whitefriars Quarter shopping centre in Canterbury, Kent, from Land Securities for £253 million. HGI’s Henderson UK Shopping Centre Fund and the CPP Investment Board have formed a 50/50 joint venture to acquire the award-winning shopping centre, which comprises 600,000 sq ft of retail space in the cathedral city’s centre. In addition to funding its 50 per cent interest in the Whitefriars joint venture, CPP Investment Board has invested £150 million in Henderson’s UK Shopping Centre Fund, which already holds interests in four core quality shopping centres in major UK cities. The recipient of numerous industry awards including “Best New Large Centre in Europe”, the landmark Whitefriars Quarter shopping centre is laid out around open-air squares that reflect Canterbury’s traditional street style and is anchored by prime tenants including Fenwick and Marks & Spencer. Land Securities, Europe’s largest REIT, completed expansion and redevelopment of the property in 2005 and 2006. Myles White, the Henderson Shopping Centre Fund Manager, said: “There is still considerable demand for prime assets in the retail sector within city centres. The UK Shopping Centre Fund invests in high quality assets across the country and has a portfolio balanced between quality investments and development opportunities, offering investors returns of over 10%. Whitefriars is a superb asset that shows strong growth potential for our investors.” Graeme Eadie, Senior Vice-President of Real Estate Investments at the CPP Investment Board, said: “Investing in Whitefriars and Henderson’s UK Shopping Centre Fund provides a logical expansion of our UK retail strategy, which is to generate strong long-term returns by acquiring interests in quality properties alongside knowledgeable partners.
With this transaction we have added significantly to our portfolio of UK retail assets.” Neil Varnham, Head of Retail for HGI, said: “We welcome the opportunity to invest alongside such a high-calibre investment partner as CPP Investment Board.
We are seeking to grow the fund with the aim of investing in similar properties as well as development opportunities across the UK.
We have been marketing the Fund globally and are keen to work with other international investors of the same calibre of CPP. The UK Shopping Centre Fund offers overseas pension funds the rare opportunity to invest in this sought after sector, which they might otherwise be precluded from, either because of the size of the investment required, or the general lack of available stock. We have a number of retail funds active across the UK and continental Europe which provide ongoing opportunities for us to work with other high calibre international investors.”
For further information contact:
CPP Investment Board Manager, Communications