UK - The Strathclyde Pension Fund has purchased a sustainable office development in Glasgow, which is seen as the first building in the city to achieve a BREEAM (BRE Environment Assessment Method) ‘excellent' status.

The £9bn (€10bn) Scottish local authority pension scheme acquired 141 Bothwell Street for £66.5m, reflecting a yield of less than 6%, through its incumbent property investment manager Aberdeen Property Investors (API).

The seller was Premier Property Group (PPG) - a subsidiary of Murray International - which completed the development in February 2009.

PPG said it had not planned on an "early disposal" but it decided to take advantage of a swift uplift in interest towards UK prime assets.

DTZ marketed the building to investors in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, but API identified and successfully secured the asset for Strathclyde.

"We have created a true landmark building and secured a fantastic tenant line-up.  The resultant investment has generated an excellent return," said Andrew Glasgow, director at PPG.

"On a personal note, I am particularly pleased that the ownership remains within Scotland".

Strathclyde pension fund announced in 2009 it was reviewing its real estate strategy to consider investing outside the UK for the first time and API will have to re-tender for the role of property investment manager. (See earlier story from IPE Real Estate's sister publication, IPE: UK roundup: Essex, Strathclyde, Equitable Life and Telent)

The tender process is expected to conclude by the middle of 2010.

According to latest figures, Strathclyde's real estate investments underperformed its benchmark in the third quarter of 2009 (1.6% versus 3.3%) and underperformed during the 12-month period up to 31 March 2009 (-31.2% versus -25.5%).

The real estate investments constitute 8.55% of the pension fund's total assets under management, although this is below its strategic asset allocation target of 12%.