NETHERLANDS - Progress, the Unilever pension fund, has decided to invest in two Dutch real estate funds managed by ING Real Estate Investment Management following the disposal of its directly held domestic portfolio.

In 2009 the pension fund decided to sell all of its directly-held Dutch real estate, so it could reinvest its capital into non-listed real estate funds (see earlier IPE Real Estate article: Progress to sell property for unlisted strategy).

Progress has signed a commitment to invest €70m in the ING Dutch Residential Fund, and will follow this with an investment in the ING Dutch Retail Fund later this year.

ING REIM said Progress was also considering investing in other funds managed by the company and had entered into a due diligence process on a number of these.

"We are delighted to welcome a new client into our Dutch funds at this time," said Pieter Hendrikse, chief executive of ING REIM Europe.

"The willingness of Progress to commit over €70m to ING REIM Europe demonstrates the confidence that they have in our organisation as well as the ING Dutch Funds and that it meets their long-term investment objective."