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The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is making a couple of major bets on shopping malls, announcing Friday that it is investing more than $700-million in deals in New England and Germany.

It is spending $350-million (U.S.) on a 36.9-per-cent stake in the Mayflower partnership, which owns 13 regional malls concentrated in the New England area. That deal is its first major regional mall acquisition in the U.S.

It is also spending €270- million (roughly $370-million Canadian) on a 50-per-cent interest in CentrO Oberhausen, a super-regional shopping and leisure centre in Germany. It is buying the stake in the 150,000-square-metre mall, which houses fashion, entertainment and dining establishments, from Stadium Group.

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Both deals are being done by CPPIB's real estate group, which has been scouring for shopping centres that it believes will provide long-term, stable cash flows that are largely resistant to economic downturns.

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