REAL ESTATE – BLPK, a CHF5bn (€3.1bn) Swiss pension fund, has sold 23 properties worth CHF221m to asset manager Avadis to diversify its real estate portfolio.

BLPK said that as part of its deal with Avadis, it had obtained a shareholding in the asset manager equal to the value of the properties sold.

Avadis invests around one-fifth of its CHF6.5bn under management in a broad range of real estate objects in Switzerland and beyond. The properties Avadis acquired from BLPK are located in and around the Swiss city of Basle.

"The transaction should enable us to get a better handle on risks as it diversifies our real estate investments in Switzerland’s leading economic centres," BLPK noted.

BLPK said, however, that it still directly owned CHF480m worth of real estate in and around Basle. All told, the fund allocates CHF800m of its CHF5bn in assets to real estate.

"The Avadis transaction marks, for now, the end of our diversification of our real estate portfolio. We plan to hold on to the properties we still own directly," Hans Peter Simeon, the fund’s chief executive told IPE Real Estate.

In a related development, BLPK said that through an affiliate, it had awarded a €120m mandate to Arlington, a UK property investment specialist. The mandate is for indirect real estate investments in Europe, Asia and North America.

Arlington said investments on behalf of the BLPK affiliate had already been made in Europe and would soon be done so in Asia.

BLPK is a public pension fund that insures 21,000 people at 268 firms in Switzerland. BLPK also has 6,100 pensioners.

Beyond the 16% allocated to real estate, BLPK has 32% invested in equities, 30% in fixed income and 14.1% in cash. Almost another 3% is invested in alternatives, particularly private equity.