03/06/2015 04:43 EST | Updated 05/05/2015 05:59 EDT

CPP Investment Board acquires Liberty Living in U.K for $2.1 billion

TORONTO - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) says it has acquired a U.K. student accommodation portfolio for 1.1 billion British pounds ($2.1 billion).

The portfolio operates under the Liberty Living brand and was purchased from the Brandeaux Student Accommodation Fund following an auction.

Liberty Living is billed as one of Great Britain's largest student accommodation providers with over 40 residences in 17 university towns and cities across the U.K.

Established in 2000, Liberty Living owns more than 16,700 rooms.

"This sector is an attractive one for CPPIB and we expect to see continued demand for well-located and well-managed student residences such as those within the Liberty Living portfolio," said Andrea Orlandi, the CPPIB's head of real estate investments in Europe.

"This is an exciting investment for CPPIB and an ideal platform through which we can build further scale, capitalizing on Liberty Living's position as one of the leading operators in the U.K. student accommodation sector."

The CPPIB invests surplus contributions to the Canada Pension Plan, primarily in equities, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income instruments.

As of Dec. 31, 2014, the CPP Fund totalled $238.8 billion, of which $26.3 billion represented real estate investments.

This is the second large scale Canadian investment in Europe this week.

On Wednesday, Quebec's Caisse de depot et placement announced an $850 million investment in the Eurostar high-speed rail network.