ECE Real Estate Partners has launched a fund that enables investors to take preferred-equity positions on a €500m portfolio of German shopping centres.

The Otto family-backed manager said the ECE Preferred Equity Fund (EPEF) had secured over €100m of capital commitments from institutional investors and issued a €100m bond to finance the acquisition of the seed portfolio of three shopping centres.

The neighbourhood centres, which were owned by the ECE European Prime Shopping Centre Fund, include the Linden-Center Berlin, Hallen am Borsigturm Berlin and Marstall Ludwigsburg.

The EPEF fund is designed to provide investors with long-term high income and regular distributions as well as ”providing downside protection in a market which is attractively priced but still undergoing structural changes”, the manager said.

Volker Kraft, managing partner of ECE Real Estate Partners, said: “During the recent months, with a significant offering of everyday necessities, the three centres have impressively demonstrated the resilience of neighbourhood retail destinations as an asset class.

“Our bond has received an investment-grade rating, underlining the high quality of the portfolio.”