REAL ESTATE - The Ohio Police & Fire Pension fund has invested $20m (€15.3m) into the Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI opportunity fund.

The fund decided on this at recent board meeting, having been advised by real estate consultant, The Townsend Group. The person working on the account for the company is principal Frank Blaschka.

The Blackstone Group is the real estate manager for Real Estate Partners VI. It islooking at a total equity raise of $8bn. The company will be making a $100m co-investment into the commingled fund.

Pension funds have been a big part of the equity raise, which has included a commitment of up to $400m from Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System, $100m from the New Jersey Division of Investment and $75m form the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System.

Real Estate Partners VI was expecting to be part of Blackstone’s acquisition of Equity Office Properties Trust. Taking public real estate companies private is one of the transactions types undertaken for the commingled fund and would be with companies that own and manage office buildings, hotels, retail and healthcare assets.

The investment fund will look at buying existing properties, including office buildings in recovering markets, hotels that need to be repositioned and some international real estate assets. Transaction for the fund outside of the US can make up for 10 to 20% of the portfolio.

Ohio Police & Fire now has total assets of $11.9bn and its real estate portfolio currently is valued at $579.3m, around 4.9% of its total assets.

The pension fund, which has a targeted allocation for real estate of 8%, is actually moving closer to the target. Three other commitments that have been made over the past year have not been funded yet. These are with JPMorgan Strategic Property Fund, Colony Investors VIII and TA Associates Fund VIII.