AXA Real Estate has spent €41m on a Helsinki office building, the first Finnish deal for its fund for Italian investors.

The core property was bought for the Caesar fund, managed by an Italian SGR (Societa’ di Gestione del Risparmio) for institutional investors.

AXA Real Estate said the purchase of the fully-let, 12,000 sqm property in Ruoholahti was in line with the fund’s pursuit of well-let, core office assets on the edge of central business districts in main European cities.

Giorgio Pieralli, manager of the Caesar fund, said: “The asset is exactly what our institutional investors want access to as they look to diversify their real estate holdings outside of Italy.”

The fund’s last close was in October 2012, having raised €209m in equity from AXA Insurance companies and 13 Italian institutional investors, giving it a total potential fund size of around €420m once fully invested.

Caesar, which has a nine-year life, is looking to achieve an average annual dividend of 5.5% on invested capital and an internal rate of return of 9%.

AXA Real Estate began deploying capital in the UK and France in 2012.

Last month, AXA Assicurazioni and AXA MPS made commitments to a new Italian fund that has the option of investing abroad. The fund, which has an initial investment capacity of €350m, could invest up to €700m in European commercial real estate directly or through funds.

Head of AXA Real Estate funds, Laurent Lavergne last month told IP Real Estate it did not rule out buying a portfolio for the fund.

AXA Real Estate also manages the Core Italian Properties Fund (CIPF) for Italian institutional investors.