AXA Investment Managers–Real Assets has bought a developer and manager of UK retirement villages on behalf of a club of investors.

Retirement Villages Group (RVG) has a portfolio of 14 retirement village properties, comprising 1,274 purpose-built independent living units and 402 care beds, primarily located in the South East and South West of the UK.

The company also has a development pipeline including extensions to existing assets and a number of new village sites.

The Retirement Villages brand will be retained and operated autonomously, while the care element of the portfolio will be operated by health and social care provider HC-One under new 25-year leases.

The transaction will enlarge AXA IM–RA’s European healthcare portfolio to over €1bn and follows recent investments in UK senior housing, and the healthcare sector in Germany and Finland.

Andrew Ovey, head of healthcare at AXA IM–RA, said: “Having built up a deep understanding of the intricacies of healthcare real estate, we are very pleased to be able to add this significant UK holding to our European healthcare portfolio.

“RVG has proven its leadership in the sector and has secured a pipeline of extensions and new sites that offer significant scope for further penetration of an undersupplied market providing long-term stable cash flows, for the benefit of clients.”

AXA IM–RA also announced that it had raised more than €1bn for its pan-European, open-ended real estate fund, which it launched last year.

The AXA CoRE Europe Fund, which was launched with €500m of commitments in March 2016, now has investors from Europe, North America and Japan, including 23 third-party clients.

AXA IM–RA has deployed €830m of the capital. Most recently, it bought a 1.2m sqm, fully-let, pan-European logistics portfolio from Gramercy.

The fund now holds 44 assets in France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland. Nearly half (49%) of the portfolio is made up of offices, with 35% in logistics and 16% in retail.