CPPIB buys portfolio of agricultural land from Assiniboia Farmland LP for $128M

TORONTO – The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board says it has acquired the assets of Assiniboia Farmland LP, a fund manager which owns a portfolio of agricultural lands, for up to $128 million.

The deal includes 115,000 acres of Saskatchewan farmland producing wheat, barley and canola.

Pending adjustments, it is expected to close in January 2014, with the current management team continuing to oversee the portfolio.

CPPIB says farmland is an “attractive asset class” for the board because it delivers historically “stable, risk-adjusted returns” as demand for agricultural products continue to grow.

The CPPIB, one of the world’s largest pension funds, invests money not needed by the Canada Pension Plan to pay benefits for some 18 million current and retired contributors.

CPPIB had net assets of $192.8 billion as of Sept. 30, up from $188.9 billion at the end of the previous quarter.

“Farmland investments align well with CPPIB’s long-term investment strategy while also further diversifying our portfolio,” said Andre Bourbonnais, senior vice-president of private investments.

On Wednesday, the board announced it had purchased a 15 per cent stake in ORPEA S.A., a long-term care provider in Europe, for approximately $468.2 million.

The deal amounts to it buying nearly eight million shares of ORPEA at a price of 40.34 euros per share, or a total of 320.8 million euros, said the CPPIB.

It also plans to underwrite a primary share capital increase of up to 100 million euros to help the company grow its business.

Paris-based ORPEA was founded in 1989 and provides nursing, post-acute care, rehabilitation and psychiatric services in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.