Wanted: Buyers for minority stake in $4-billion portfolio in Vancouver

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One of Canada's largest institutional investors is searching for buyers for a minority stake in a $4-billion real estate portfolio that includes several buildings like office towers and shopping malls in Vancouver.
Sources familiar with the matter stated that Cadillac Fairview, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s real estate unit, is aiming for $2 billion in funds raised from the sale, the Financial Post reported.
The unnamed sources added that Cadillac Fairview has tapped CBRE Group Inc. and the Royal Bank of Canada to work on the sale.
The portfolio covers 14 assets in Vancouver and Richmond, including Canada’s largest shopping centers, historic buildings, and office towers. Other offerings include properties like the 21-storey Waterfront Centre, the 238,000-square-foot PricewaterhouseCoopers Place, and The Station, completed in 1912 and considered as North America’s largest transport hub.
The reported sale comes in the wake of other major commercial sales in Vancouver this year, such as the $800 million B.C. portfolio offering from Ivanhoe Cambridge and the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.
Vancouver commercial properties have seen record prices over the past few months due in no small part to foreign demand, exemplified by the $1-billion-plus purchase of the Bentall Centre by the Chinese holding company Anbang Insurance Group.
Data from Avison Young revealed that the vacancy rate downtown (where most of the Cadillac Fairview assets are situated) is currently at 7.8 per cent. Meanwhile, the rate for the city as a whole spiked up to a 12-year high of 10.4 per cent.
Representatives of Cadillac Fairview, CBRE, and RBC have not yet commented on the issue.

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