Canada Pension Buys Stake in European Nursing Home Firm

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the country’s largest pension fund manager, bought a 15 percent stake in ORPEA SA, a European nursing-home operator.

Canada Pension acquired 7.9 million shares valued at about 320.8 million euros ($443 million) from Jean-Claude Marian, the founder and chairman of the Puteaux Cedex, France-based company, according to a statement today. Marian will retain an 8 percent stake and will keep his current role.

“There’s an increasing demand for these premium high-quality services across all of Europe,” Scott Lawrence, vice president and head of relationship investments at Canada Pension, said in a phone interview today. “People are both getting older and getting wealthier. ORPEA caters to a demographic that’s more affluent.”

This is Canada Pension’s first acute nursing care investment in France, Lawrence said.

The Toronto-based fund manager is also underwriting a share capital increase of as much as 100 million euros to help the provider of rehabilitation and nursing care expand across Europe, according to the statement.

Canada Pension is “supportive” of the company expanding into China and Brazil, two markets that the pension plan itself is focusing on, Lawrence said.

ORPEA, formed in 1989, operates about 40,000 beds in more than 430 facilities in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. Canada Pension manages C$192.8 billion for 18 million Canadians outside of the province of Quebec.

ORPEA rose 1.1 percent to 41.45 euros at the close of trading in Paris. Canada Pension agreed to pay 40.34 euros a share for its stake.

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