Danish commercial pension provider PFA is buying up both of ATP’s directly-held senior housing assets, as Denmark’s statutory pensions giant sells out of a sector that is no longer a strategic fit.

PFA Pension has agreed to buy the 2,800sqm building housing the psychiatric residential and treatment centre Thea, located in Frederiksberg, along with Bavne Ager, a 6,524sqm nursing home in Gilleleje, according to statements from both parties to the deal.

Peter Kenneth Morgan, senior investment manager at PFA, said: “We are pleased with the investment, which will benefit our customers in the form of positive returns on pension savings, as well as by knowing that customers and their families have priority for the homes within the nursing home.”

PFA Pension, which had DKK587bn (€79bn) in total asset at the end of 2020, said the purchase was part of the joint venture project it set up with senior living facilities operator OK-Fonden last year - a collaboration to build nursing homes and senior housing in 10 Danish municipalities.

Martin Vang Hansen, chief executive officer of ATP Real Estate, said: “As part of the simplification of our portfolio and in continuation of our new strategy, we wanted to find a new and long-term ownership solution for the two properties.

“So we are very pleased that after a good process with Ulrik [Ulrik Ahrendt-Jensen, CEO of OK-Fonden] and his team, the properties have now been sold to OK-Fonden and PFA with a satisfactory result for our members,” he said.

ATP Real Estate signed the deal to build Bavne Ager, which includes 72 assisted-living units, back in 2017, as the first project in a Danish residential strategy launched under the leadership of its previous CEO Michael Nielsen.

OK-Fonden signed a 20-year contract with ATP Real Estate to operate the home.

Bavne Ager was then owned within ATP Real Estate’s existing senior housing subsidiary Seniorbolig Danmark - a business segment that was listed at the end of 2020 in ATP Real Estate’s annual report as containing just two properties, the other being Thea.

ATP declined to reveal the value of the sale, which Danish property news service EjendomsWatch reported at DKK200m.

In the two years since Vang Hansen started leading ATP Real Estate, the Danish property investor has worked to a new strategy involving increased focus on the firm’s development pipeline and improving existing domestic assets by optimising rent levels and property administration and incorporating higher levels of sustainability into its buildings.

Last summer, when Christiane Eckert, then chief global real estate portfolio manager at ATP, left her job, she cited the DKK960bn pension fund’s plans to scale back its activity in international property markets, though ATP told IPE Real Assets at the time that was too early to comment on the future of its international investments, as it then in the process of one of its regular strategy reviews.

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