A Canadian pension fund has taken control of Manchester’s Trafford Centre after previous owner Intu collapsed into administration.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) was a key lender to Intu prior to its insolvency during the first coronavirus lockdown.
CCPIB provided the company with a £250 million lending facility, specifically for Intu’s Trafford Centre subsidiary.
In June, Intu slid into administration and a sale process was launched for the Manchester shopping hub.
However, CCPIB said no viable bids were received by administrators.
As the principal creditor for the business, the group said it has now exercised its rights to take ownership of the Trafford Centre after no potential suitors came forward.
Geoff Souter, managing director, head of real assets credit at CPPIB Credit, said: “The Trafford Centre is one of the UK’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.”
The pension fund is a significant investor in UK shopping centres and has previously invested in London’s Westfield Stratford, Birmingham’s Bullring and Grand Central.