Canada’s largest pension fund manager and two partners have acquired US$1.6 billion worth of student housing properties in the United States.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) says it’s making the investment through its joint venture with a major Singapore-based fund manager and a Chicago-based property company.

Together, they are acquiring three separate student housing portfolios through the Scion Student Communities LP.

CPPIB and GIC of Singapore each own a 45% interest in the three portfolios, with the remainder belonging to the Scion Group, which focuses on student housing communities.

The head of CPPIB’s U.S. real estate investments, Hilary Spann, says it’s important for the pension fund manager to achieve significant size in the American student housing sector.

CPPIB manages investments on behalf of the Canada Pension Plan.

As of December, it had $298.1 billion of assets under management in the CPP Fund.

As a result of the deal announced Thursday, the Scion Student Communities LP joint venture has 48 student housing communities with a total of nearly 32,200 beds.