GERMANY – German institutional investors are increasingly joining forces to do larger real estate deals and looking to separate asset management from administration in a fund, according to Universal Investment.

Universal and Quantum Asset Management recently acquired the Hofstatt office and retail complex – made up of five buildings with a total of 34,000sqm of rental space in Munich – on behalf of a consortium of five unnamed German Versorgungswerke.

To purchase these properties, the Versorgungswerke had set up a Spezialfonds with Universal as the Service KAG and Quantum as the asset manager.

Alexander Tannenbaum, managing director of real estate at Universal, told IP Real Estate the German press had been correct in speculating on a purchase price “beyond €400m” but declined to specify the sum.

“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.

Tannenbaum said the deal was also further evidence of a trend towards club deals among German institutional investors.

“This way, they can get deals they probably would have missed otherwise,” he said.

Another trend, he said, is the separation of service KVG and actual asset manager.

“The consortium had mulled also using Quantum as the KVG, but one of the major investors in the club deal said he wanted to separate these two remits," he said.

In fact, this is the second time Universal has been chosen alongside Quantum as the service KVG.

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.

In total, Universal currently has similar agreements with 14 asset managers, both foreign and domestic.

Among them, he cited CBRE Global Investors and LaSalle Investment Management for their recent deals with the BVK and one of its sub-entities, the fund for Bavarian doctors.