REAL ESTATE - A US pension fund is to acquire $100m of retail real estate in the Midwest and Western US through a layered procurement deal with Henderson Global Investors.

Under the Chicago-based firm’s Manager of Partners account agreement, Pine Tree Realty will acquire the properties on the unidentified pension fund’s behalf. Pine Tree has already acquired a 110,000 square foot shopping centre in San Ramon, California, for the fund. It will continue to scout shopping centre deals where all-cash transactions create competitive advantage, Henderson said.

The pension fund, of undisclosed size, contracted Henderson to plug a retail gap in its property portfolio. Henderson’s appeal lies in a stringent due diligence process that includes a specialist team of around four people scrutinising potential partner companies “from finance to IT”, according to spokesman Dan McDonagh.

“The process is time- and people-intensive but it means we can ensure potential partners are institutionally ready,” he said.

The Manager of Partners account has already invested $76m in 24 shopping centres through a joint venture with Inland Retail Real Estate, a REIT that has developed and manages around 300 shopping centres and free-standing retail properties. The Pine Tree agreement brings total funds committed to the fund to $200m.