GERMANY - German regional bank Bayern LB is to open the bidding for its real estate arm GBW to private parties - and Augsburg-based Patrizia has confirmed to IPE that it is still interested.

Like many other German regional banks, Bayern LB has had to restructure its business in the wake of the financial crisis and is now looking for a buyer for its real estate subsidiary.  

Initially, the Bavarian regional government had intended to restrict the bidding to Bavarian municipalities, but it has now decided to open up bidding for private investors as requested by the EU.

A spokesman for German real estate company Patrizia told IPE that the company was still interested in the portfolio of 33,000 flats in Bavaria.

In a statement, Patrizia added that a consortium made up of insurers and pension funds were the "best-suited owners for such properties in Bavaria", as they had a "long-term perspective, financial stability and conservative return expectations". 

Earlier this year, Patrizia had headed a consortium purchasing a real estate portfolio of regional bank LBBW. 

In other news, Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) has acquired a team specialised in infrastructure debt investments.

The company said it expected "significant demand" from insurers, foundations, pension funds and other investors with long-duration liabilities seeking investments with stable cash flows and risk-adjusted returns.

The new team is headed by Deborah Zurkow, former chief executive at financial advisory firm Trifinium Advisors, who will be joined by four other executives from the company.

AllianzGI said the team had been hired to establish a "flexible platform" to identify and manage investment-grade debt for Allianz and third-party clients. 

Andreas Utermann, global CIO, added: "For investment managers to effectively fill the funding gap created by the retreat of banks from this area of investment, it is critical to have deep expertise in the field of infrastructure debt and the risk profiles of different projects."

Meanwhile, German real estate company Hamburgische Immobilien Handlung (HIH) and London-based private equity firm Boxberg Capital formed a joint venture for value-add and opportunistic investments in Germany.

The companies said the opportunities and particular challenges that exist in the opportunistic and value-add segment in Germany required "specific operating and management solutions that have been hard to find".

The joint venture HIHBoxberg Capital, in which both companies hold 50%, aims to provide "flexible capital and liquidity for German commercial real estate investments in the non-core sector", they said.

Lastly, German bank HSH Nordbank announced it would provide follow-up financing amounting to around €90m for Frankfurt-based commercial real estate investor DIC for a portfolio consisting of around 20 assets in Hamburg.

The bank, which had to restructure after receiving financial aid from the EU, stressed that financing commercial real estate was an "important part of our core business".

Peter Axmann, head of real estate clients at HSH Nordbank, said the deal illustrated the bank's ability to structure large-scale financing.