The real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System is entering a joint venture to manage the Sony Centre in Berlin.

The Oxford Properties Group, which previously held a 94.9 per cent share in the eight-building complex, is selling 44.9 per cent of its stake to the Norges Bank Investment Management, an investment vehicle of the Norweigan government. For its part, NBIM will pay €677 million ($927 million) to Oxford Properties and minority investor Madison International Real Estate, which will sell its entire 5.1 per cent stake.

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The closing of the transaction, which values the property at €1.35 billion ($1.85 billion), is subject to regulatory approval. Following the deal, Oxford Properties and the NBIM will each hold a 50 per cent interest in the property. Oxford will continue to act as its asset manager on behalf of both firms.

In a press release, Abby Shapiro, senior vice-president and head of office, retail and life sciences for Europe at Oxford Properties, said the NBIM shares Oxford Properties’ long-term vision. “Furthermore, [the deal] demonstrates the belief in our investment thesis that sustainable and wellness-focused office buildings in prime locations, serviced by superb food and retail amenities, will continue to outperform.”

In other news, the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Pension Plan is giving CIBC Mellon a 10-year mandate to provide it with asset servicing and digital solutions.

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According to the terms of the deal, CIBC Mellon and its global enterprise partners, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the Bank of New York Mellon Corp., will provide an array of investment and pension servicing solutions to the CAAT.  This will include custody, accounting, securities lending, foreign exchange processing and settlement, pension benefit payment disbursements, investment information data access, performance measurement, attribution, analytics and investment compliance monitoring.

The agreement with CIBC Mellon aims to improve the sustainability of the fund, according to a press release, and comes after a period of significant growth, both in terms of membership and assets, for the CAAT. Since 2017, its membership has ballooned from 48,000 to 75,000 and its assets from $10 billion to $18 billion.

In the release, Michael Dawson, chief financial officer of the CAAT, said that the organization believes that CIBC Mellon’s infrastructure will help the pension plan as it continues to grow its membership. “As we welcome new employers to our plan and provide a guaranteed lifetime income in retirement to more Canadians, we know we can rely on CIBC Mellon’s highly scalable infrastructure as we expand our operations and deliver on our commitments to our sponsors and members.”

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