GLOBAL – US financial services group TIAA-CREF and French insurer CNP Assurances have co-invested in a $1.2bn (€924m) portfolio of German shopping centres.

TIAA-CREF acquired the three shopping centres – PEP in Munich, Erlangen Arcaden in Erlangen, and Gropius Passagen in Berlin – and will manage them on behalf of the newly created joint venture.

It is the first time that TIAA-CREF has managed European properties for a joint venture.

It has been investing in Europe for almost 20 years and in German retail properties since 2007, when it developed the Erlangen Arcaden, but to date it has managed only US real estate on behalf of institutional and sovereign-wealth investors.

Earlier in the year it entered into a joint venture with the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global to invest US offices.

AEW Europe advised CNP Assurances on the deal.

Tom Garbutt, head of global real estate for TIAA-CREF, said: "Germany’s improving economy and limited supply of retail space continue to make these properties attractive assets in TIAA-CREF’s global real estate portfolio.

"This joint venture, with a partner like CNP Assurances who shares our long-term vision, will allow us to further diversify our portfolio and take advantage of investment opportunities that we believe will add value over time.”