Ivanhoé Cambridge is buying Alberta Investment Management Corp.’s 50-per-cent-stake in downtown Montreal’s Place Ville Marie, in a deal that will give Ivanhoé full ownership of the iconic building site and require approval from the federal Competition Bureau.
Ivanhoé plans to invest more than $100-million in the complex, which lies in the heart of Montreal’s business centre, and said the transaction in total is valued at more than $400-million.
Place Ville Marie celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. While it is best known for the office tower at the intersection of University Street and Boulevard René-Lévesque, the large site also consists of the smaller surrounding buildings and underground retail space.
The complex includes five towers and a shopping promenade, and is directly linked to the Métro system and underground pedestrian network.
It had been jointly owned by AIMCo and Ivanhoé, which is the real estate arm of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
AIMCo began looking to sell its stake earlier this year, and the joint-ownership agreement that the two pension plans had with one another gave Ivanhoé the chance to match any offer that AIMCo received.
“We are very proud to seize this new opportunity; this significant investment in Montreal will be the anchor of a broad plan we will implement this fall,” Ivanhoé CEO Daniel Fournier said in a news release Wednesday.
That plan will include other “major investments” within the company’s real estate portfolio in the city, the release stated.
“Place Ville Marie is more than just a building; it is at the real estate core of the city and, more than ever, the cornerstone of our Montreal property portfolio,” Mr. Fournier said.
AIMco said in April it was looking to sell its stake in Place Ville Marie after what it described as a regular review of its assets.
AIMCo invests on behalf of 26 pension, endowment and government funds in Alberta, including the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund.