GERMANY – Five German pension funds have teamed up to acquire the Hofstatt office and retail complex in Munich for more than €400m.

The deal highlights a growing trend among German institutions to enter into club deals to gain access to large property deals, while also separating fund administration from asset management.

The five unnamed Versorgungswerke (retirement plans for the self-employed) hired Universal Investment to set up a Spezialfonds for the acquisition, while giving asset management duties to Quantum Asset Management.

Alexander Tannenbaum, managing director of real estate at Universal, said: "The consortium wanted to buy the Hofstatt complex because they noted that, with this one large investment, they were guaranteed a long-term, steady return fitting their requirements."

He said the deal was the latest confirmation of a trend towards club deals among German institutional investors, adding: "This way, they can get deals they probably would not have gotten otherwise."

The 34,000sqm property is thought to have been bought for more than €400m.

Tannenbaum confirmed that the price was "beyond €400m" but would not disclose by how much.

The acquisition is another example of German investors wanting to separate the administration of Spezialfonds from asset management.

Tannenbaum said the "consortium had mulled" using Quantum's fund administration business, but added that "one of the major investors in the club deal said he wanted to separate these two remits"

This is the second time Universal has been chosen alongside Quantum as the Service KVG (all entities with the right to issue Spezialfonds, formerly known as KAG, now have to re-register with the regulator as KVG following the introduction of new rules to implement the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive in Germany).

Two weeks ago, Quantum bought an office building in Düsseldorf on behalf of an individual Spezialfonds set up with Universal by another Versorgungswerk.

The property has a rental space of 5,140sqm and was bought for €24m.

Universal has a similar cooperation with 14 asset managers, both foreign and domestic, some of which have their own KVG licenses.

Among these are CBRE Global Investors and LaSalle Investment Management, both of which recently won major mandates from Germany's largest pension group BVK.