Denmark’s largest commercial pension fund PFA, Danish labour-market pension scheme PenSam and insurance and pensions firm Topdanmark have increased their stakes in the development of the former Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen.

The trio are buying Realdania out of its 25% stake in the asset.

Realdania, a Danish private association that supports architecture and planning projects in the country, among other activities, bought the stake in 2012.

At that point, the three pension investors and Realdania, along with real estate firm Carlsberg Ejendomme, jointly purchased the land and property from Carlsberg, forming Carlsberg Byen (Carlsberg City) as a company to develop the property.

PFA is now the biggest investor in the project to the west of central Copenhagen, with a 29.99% stake, after the deal, while PenSam and Topdanmark will each hold 22.51%, and Carlsberg Ejendomme 25%.

A spokesman for PFA said the parties in the deal had agreed not to comment on the price.

Michael Bruhn, executive director of PFA’s property arm, PFA Ejendomme, said: “We are very pleased with the agreement with PenSam and Topdanmark regarding the takeover of Realdania’s ownership share of Carlsberg City.”

He said it was an attractive urban development project that was a big benefit to Copenhagen residents while at the same time being a source of stable returns for PFA’s customers. 

“As a long-term investor, it suits us well to own a larger share of this visionary project now, and it is an important building block in our strategy to increase investments in high-quality properties and projects in 2017,” Bruhn added.

Benny Buchardt Andersen, director of PenSam, said the pension fund was glad to be able to increase its ownership stake and expand its contribution to the development of Copenhagen.

“Carlsberg City has long-term potential, offers promise to Copenhagen and is very attractive,” he said, adding that the cooperation between the owners had been good and fruitful.

In the course of the next few years, Carlsberg Byen will build 3,100 homes, commercial units and a range of retail units, schools and other buildings, the pension funds said.

Jesper Nygård, chief executive of Realdania, said the project had turned out to be an exciting and visionary urban development project, as originally hoped, with the areas that had been completed now already being lived in.

“The project has now come a long way, and we could not wish for anything better than to let our existing partners bring it further towards the goal,” he said.

Realdania said it was selling its shares in the project as part of its strategy shift towards increasingly global investment with broader geographical diversification and less exposure to the Danish property market.