Germany's BVK hires Hines to invest €1.3bn in European retail property

Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK) has mandated Hines to invest €1.3bn in European high street retail property.

The €62bn German pension scheme awarded the manager a separate account mandate targeting prime assets.

Hines is to focus on core-plus, value-add and redevelopment opportunities across 20 major European markets.

Most investments will be made with the intention of holding for the long term.

Norman Fackelmann, head of real estate investment management at BVK, said:  “As a business, we are committed to growing our exposure to the high street retail market.

“It is a sector that offers attractive fundamentals, and there are good opportunities to source value-add assets in strategic locations for long-term investing.”

Hines said it would use value-added measures including rental reviews, repositioning and releasing of units, as well as store reconfiguration and light refurbishments.

Major redevelopments and ground-up developments will also be part of the investment strategy. 

Lars Huber, co-chief executive at Hines Europe, said: “This is a significant mandate for our European business from one of the world’s leading investors in real estate.

“It enables us to capitalise on our integrated business model and leverage our pan-European platform to focus on value creation through active asset management, refurbishments and redevelopment.”

Hines acquired the first asset for the mandate late last year, buying in Oslo’s Karl Johans gate.

The 5,100sqm building was bought through a sale and leaseback from Landkreditt Bank for €52m.

James Robson, managing director at Hines Europe, said: “The building in Oslo is typical of the kind we are targeting – a well located, retail-anchored asset offering both income and, importantly, the opportunity to use our real estate expertise to deliver enhanced capital value to the investor.”

Hines said that, over the past two years, it has launched several separate accounts and carried out one-off transactions with German pension funds, securing more than €1.5bn in commitments.

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