The £265 billion Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) has acquired ownership of the Trafford Centre in Manchester through its wholly owned subsidiary CPPIB Credit Investments Inc.
CPPIB Credit said it will also “evaluate the Trafford Centre’s complex capital structure” to ensure it supports the return of the shopping centre to long-term viability.
CPPIB Credit said an immediate priority is to appoint a long-term “expert” operating partner.
“In 2017, CPPIB Credit provided a £250 million facility to Intu Trafford Centre Group (UK) Limited (ITCG), a subsidiary of intu properties plc (intu) and the indirect owner of the Trafford Centre, which was secured by the equity interest in the Trafford Centre,” said the pension fund.
“In June 2020, intu was placed into administration and a sale process was initiated for the Trafford Centre, however no viable bids were received.
“As the principal secured creditor of ITCG with security over the equity interest in the Trafford Centre, in the absence of alternative sources of funding and the unsuccessful sale process, CPPIB Credit has exercised its rights to acquire the shares in ITCG and the ownership of the Trafford Centre.”
Geoff Souter, head of real assets credit, CPPIB Credit, said: “The Trafford Centre is one of the U.K.’s top five shopping centres, welcoming more than 30 million shoppers annually, and counts many leading global retailers among its occupiers.
“While conditions for retail in 2020 have been very challenging, we are able to take a long-term view and believe that, with strategic management and investment, the Trafford Centre has strong prospects.
“An immediate priority is to support the Trafford Centre’s management, ensuring continued optimal operation of the Trafford Centre, and to appoint a long-term expert operating partner.”