GERMANY - F&C REIT Asset Management in Germany is looking to invest as much as €240m in German retail properties having raised capital for a new real estate fund and a segregated account with a German pension fund.

The investment manager closed its Best Value Germany I fund this week with €120m in commitments from a number of German pension funds and insurance companies.

The fund will concentrate on acquiring retail assets in secondary cities in Germany, investing as much as 75% of its capital in retail.

During the same capital-raising programme, which started in March, F&C REIT secured another $120m from a separate unnamed pension fund based in North Germany.

Iris Schöberl, managing director at F&C REIT Asset Management in Germany, explained that the pension fund was interested in the same strategy, but wanted to invest more than €30m - the maximum amount for an individual investor in the fund - so it decided to set up a segregated account.

Schöberl said F&C REIT was responding to demand among German institutional investors for retail properties, driven predominately by their interest in diversifying away from existing office portfolios.

F&C REIT is seeking to make its first investments for the Best Value fund between now and the start of 2011.

The company has already made acquisitions for its new separate account, most recently Kasino, a retail building at Kornmarkt 2-3 in Trier.

The price has not been revealed, although it is understood to have a double-digit million-euro price tag.

F&C REIT also acquired a property in Schwäbisch Hall, leased in the long-term to clothing chain H&M, as well as a building on Holstenstrasse in Kiel.