ITALY - Enpam, the Italian pension fund for doctors and dentists, has sold a 29-property portfolio for €305m.

Pirelli Real Estate acquired the portfolio with holder Global Opportunities Fund II, a fund managed by Deutsche Bank subsidiary RREEF, which acquired 65%.

After the deal’s closure in the autumn, assets will transfer to Pirelli’s Social & Public Initiatives fund.

This portfolio largely comprises northern retail and office assets concentrated in the Lombardy and Tuscany regions and currently has an average 54% vacancy rate.

According to Pirelli, Enpam – which last year entered Watson Wyatt’s top 300 pension funds – is using the deal to maximise value and accelerate the disposal of its property assets. That process began in July 2005 when it sold a 19-asset residential portfolio to Pirelli’s Diomira fund.

The Italian property firm claims last week’s deal positioned it as the "welfare and pensions institutions’ player of choice".

A RREEF spokeswoman said the wider trend for pension funds to offload real estate assets was likely to continue.

RREEF usually, although not exclusively, acquires real estate assets via joint ventures. A spokeswoman denied the decision joint venture indicated a higher level of risk in Italy than in other mature markets.

"We’ve done a lot with Pirelli," she said.

The same team was behind the launch in March of a three-way venture between Pirelli, RREEF and the region of Sicily set up with assets worth €263m to invest in Sicilian public buildings.