Norway’s Oslo Pensjonsforsikring (OPF) has bought 58,000sqm of real estate surrounding the country’s largest football stadium, Ullevaal Stadion.
Kjetil Houg, investment director of OPF, said: “Ullevaal is a diversified property consisting of retail, office, conference, hotel and parking, and we expect this to be a long term investment for OPF.”
OPF, which covers public sector employees at the municipality of Oslo, bought the property from its current owner DNB Livsforsikring.
The football pitch itself and stand will continue to be owned by the Norwegian Soccer Association.
The parties did not disclose the value of the deal.
Houg said this latest investment was part of the pension fund’s strategy to focus on core property, and that real estate had become one its most important asset classes at now 18% of assets under management (AUM).
Hong said OPF had done several deals in real estate recently, mainly in the Greater Oslo area.
“We have sold off some smaller non-core assets, and bought several larger properties,” he said.
Core assets for OPF were large holdings mainly in the Greater Oslo area, but not excluding other geographical areas, and spanned different real estate sectors, Houg said.
“OPF’s assets under management are expanding fast, and real estate has become one of our most important asset classes comprising some 18% of assets under management,” he said.
In the last quarter of 2014, the pension fund bought the technical base at Gardermoen airport, and office and parking buildings at Kongsberg Teknologipark.
DNB Commercial Property, part of the DNB group, said it was a good time to sell the assets in order to realise value and adapt to changing conditions.
Gro Boge, managing director of the division, said that, as the owner of a large property portfolio, it is natural to develop that portfolio through purchases and sales.
The sale of the Ullevaal Stadion, built in 1991, had been part of the life company’s long-term property strategy, he said.