Ontario Teachers’ sells mall shares amid GameStop rally, invests in low-carbon company

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is cashing in on the recent GameStop Corp. stock rally, after selling its shares in a U.S.-based retail real-estate company that saw its value skyrocket as a result.

In late January, the Ontario Teachers’ sold its 16.4 per cent share in Macerich Co. for nearly US$500 million, according to data from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings compiled by Bloomberg News. Macerich, which owns nearly 50 malls across the U.S., saw its shares increase sharply in value after retail investors on Reddit began pumping up the stock as another short-squeeze candidate, due to its proximity as a landlord to video games retailer GameStop and cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the two companies at the centre of the recent stock frenzy.

Read: CPPIB acquiring U.K. mall after owner fails to find buyer

In an emailed statement to Benefits Canada, Dan Madge, a spokesperson for the Ontario Teachers’, confirmed the sale of its Macerich stocks. “We’ve been a long-term investor with Macerich and throughout this relationship they’ve been a valued partner. Moving forward, we’re focused on scaling and diversifying our global real estate platform and growing our existing Canadian real estate business.”

In other investment news, the Ontario Teachers’ and IFM Investors are entering into a $2.8-billion definitive agreement with Brookfield Infrastructure Partners to jointly acquire the Canadian district energy operations owned by Enwave Energy Corp.

The Ontario Teachers’ and IFM Investors will each own 50 per cent of the company, which provides low-carbon, cooling-and-heating solutions to more than 320 customers across a range of sectors in Canada. This latest investment is in line with the pension plans’ recent net-zero carbon pledge, according to a press release. This is the second North American infrastructure investment made by the two investors, which currently co-own GCT Global Container Terminals Inc.

“Enwave is a prime example of an investment that we believe can be both commercially attractive and contribute to broader sustainability efforts,” said Dale Burgess, senior managing director of infrastructure and natural resources at the Ontario Teachers’, in the release. “It provides district-energy solutions to a high-quality portfolio of clients in Canada, helping them reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. We’re also very excited about Enwave’s strong management team, stable inflation-linked cash flows and high-growth potential given the under-penetration of district energy in North America.”

Read: Ontario Teachers’ committing to net-zero emissions by 2050