UNITED STATES - Fillmore Capital Partners is looking at expanding its investment operations into the United Kingdom and China for the first time.

President Ron Silva said the real estate manager is looking for investments in the Chinese healthcare industry in particular, along with possible purchases in the UK in either healthcare or hospitality.

We are now looking at these regions as an expansion of our operations in the United States.  Both of these countries offer us debt and equity investment opportunities in the property types that we are familiar with."

More specifically, it is anticipated the deals could be structured as either a debt investment, like mezzanine, or preferred equity and straight equity, and transaction could be done on a mixture of individual properties, property portfolios or as entity level investments in a company.

These latest moves are expected to be made through Fillmore Strategic Investors - a separate account relationship with the Washington State Investment Board which is 99% owned by the pension fund and 1% by Fillimore.

Washington State just approved a new $600m (€413.1m) commitment to Fillmore Strategic Investors at the pension fund's board meeting on November 15.

This is the third year the pension fund has committed capital to this separate account, having started in 2005 with a $350m investment, then continuing in 2006 with a commitment of $250m.

Total assets in Fillmore Strategic Investors, seeking mid-teens leveraged IRR, are currently valued at $2.9bn.