Samsung SRA, the real estate investment management arm of Samsung Life Insurance, has raised $270m (€249m) from South Korean investors for its first real estate debt fund.

The fund will invest in mezzanine debt in the US, working with an unnamed local partner.

The Seoul-based manager had originally sought to raise around $200m, but the fund was oversubscribed.

Young Chai, CIO at Samsung SRA Asset Management, said: “In the end, we had to reduce the size of the raising because we didn’t want [the fund] to get too big.

“Our mandate is to acquire mezzanine notes collateralised by fully stabilised office buildings in gateway cities in the US.

“We are targeting mezzanine notes with a loan-to-value ratio of up to 65%, fixed rate up to 10 years. We just closed the first note acquisition for over $100m, so we really hit the ground running.”

Chai told IPE Real Estate he was hopeful the capital would be fully deployed by next year, but he added that much would depend on market conditions and “how competitive we are” in the market.

Samsung SRA said it launched the first blind-pool real estate debt fund for South Korean investors, which had so far been active in the property debt markets, by making individual deals.

“It is the track record from our past deals, both debt and equity, which allows our investors to get comfortable with us and to invest in our latest fund,” Chai said. 

In 2014, Samsung SRA made a $97.5m preferred equity investment in a Washington DC office building and acquired a $175m mezzanine note on a hotel in Hawaii.

Samsung SRA is one of the first companies in South Korea to launch blind-pool real estate funds, including a core office fund.

The core office fund has invested the US and, in July, finalised the purchase of the So Quest office building in Central Paris from Unibail-Rodamco for about €330m.

Commerzbank recently announced that it had entered into a sale-and-leaseback agreement for its global headquarters, Commerzbank Tower, in Frankfurt, Germany, with Samsung SRA Asset Management.