Pradera has asked M&A advisers Berkshire Capital to explore its strategic options, including a sale of its business, according to a source.

The European retail property fund manager is considering a sale as part of a review of its business. The process is at an early stage, the source said, with improving sentiment in the real estate sector a motiviating factor.

Pradera currently manages four discretionary property funds that invest in shopping centres and retail warehouse parks across Europe and Turkey. The four funds own assets valued at around €1.2bn as at December 2013. The company is currently raising capital for retail-focused discretionary funds.

Pradera was founded in 1999 to act as a specialist management company for European retail property funds. The group has €2.3bn of assets under management in nine countries.

Berkshire Capital has advised on mergers and acquisitions of companies with property holdings in the past, notably Blackrock’s purchase of MGPA and the The Carlyle Group’s acquisition of Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management.

The revelation coincides with the confirmation of fund management mergers with implications for real estate fund management operations. Standard Life yesterday confirmed it had bought Ignis Asset Management (£69bn assets under management) from the Phoenix Group for £390m. Confirmation of talks between Standard Life Investments and Ignis’s parent, Phoenix Group surfaced this week. The deal will be completed in full by June and have ramifications for the company’s respective real estate divisions.

F&C, the €98bn asset manager, is being taken over by BMO Europe, a subsidiary of Bank of Montreal, with the acquisition to be completed after a court hearing scheduled for 7 May.