GERMANY - MGPA's European opportunistic real estate fund has acquired 140 ALDI SÜD stores in Germany as it seeks to deploy close to €200m of capital in the country's retail sector over the next six months.

The MGPA Europe Fund III, which raised €841.5m in 2007 from institutional investors including New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) and Pennsylvania's

Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), completed a sale-and-leaseback deal with the discount retailer across the whole portfolio.

The assets, acquired for an undisclosed fee, are mainly located in southern and western parts of Germany and include unused land and a logistics centre.

The deal marks MGPA's first German acquisition for the opportunistic fund, but the fund manager said it would be looking to invest as much as €200m by the end of the year in the market.

Its stated strategy is to build portfolios of properties on long-term leases with assets that have upside potential.

Marius Schöner, managing director for Germany at MGPA, said: "This is the first transaction in Germany involving MGPA Europe Fund III, which only began investing last year.

"We have sufficient capital to make further interesting investments. During the next six months, our focus lies on retail properties and specialist outlet stores as well."

In June, MGPA acquired Harbour Exchange office tower and estate in London's Canary Wharf for £134.6m (€161.6m) for the same fund.

In January, it bought two shopping centres in Poland for €187m.