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The Public Sector Pension Investment Board has entered an agreement to purchase the Downsview industrial property owned by Bombardier Inc. in Toronto for $816 million.

“This investment is a perfect fit for PSP as it supports our long-term real estate investment strategy,” said Neil Cunningham, president and chief executive officer of PSP Investments.

“We have a stellar track-record in working with large, complex projects across our entire investment portfolio, and we are proud of our continued commitment to investing in Canada.”

Bombardier has owned and operated the site since the early 1990s, using it to manufacture and test its Global series and Q400 aircraft.

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“As part of Bombardier’s five-year turnaround plan, we have been reviewing our facilities worldwide to ensure we have the most efficient and cost effective operations necessary to support our growth objectives,” said Alain Bellemare, president and chief executive officer of Bombardier, in a press release.

Besides the Downsview deal, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority has entered a long-term agreement to lease about 15 hectares of property associated with Toronto Pearson International Airport to Bombardier. The company intends to use the property for a new centre of excellence and final assembly plant for its Global business jets.

“Today, we only use about 10 percent of a 370-acre site at Downsview and bear the entire cost of operating a 7,000-foot runway. So, we are very pleased to have reached agreements with PSP Investments and the GTAA. Together, they allow us to monetize an underutilized asset, further streamline and optimize our business aircraft operations, and will support further economic development and job growth in the greater Toronto area.”

Bombardier will continue to operate the Downsview site for a period of up to three years following the closing of the deal, which the parties expect to close in the second quarter of 2018.

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The transaction comes as several pension plans are looking to use their voting rights to push governance changes at Bombardier’s annual shareholders meeting today. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the California Teachers’ Pension Fund and the Florida State Board of Administration have said they intend to support a proposal from OceanRock Investments Inc. that asks the company’s board to file an annual report on its lobbying activities, The Canadian Press reported.

However, while the motion is unlikely to pass given the Bombardier family’s controlling voting rights, the company still encouraged shareholders to vote against it, emphasizing that it reports monthly on its federal lobbying activities to the federal lobbying commissioner.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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