SWEDEN - Valad Europe, the pan-European, multi-let real estate investment management business of Valad Property Group, has been appointed to take over the investment management of a €480m property portfolio in Sweden.

The five-year mandate from Swedish real estate company Kefren Properties IX follows a similar win in April, when Valad Europe took over the management of the €250m European Commercial Real Estate (ECRE) portfolio, formerly known as Kenmore Europe.

Marty McCarthy, chief executive at Valad Europe, said: "This appointment represents a further step in Valad's strategy of working alongside financial and investment partners to provide the necessary skills to work through real estate portfolios with which they are associated."

The Kefren portfolio comprises approximately 150 properties totalling more than 827,000 square metres of let-able space.

It is made up predominantly of office assets, but also includes warehouse and retail space, with tenants including Ericsson, Volvo and SKF.

Valad Europe is likely to inject new capital into the Kefren and ECRE portfolios as part of its targeted strategy.

McCarthy said: "We have numerous pension funds and sovereign wealth funds from around Europe and the rest of the world that clearly have an appetite for real estate, provided it is the right sort of deal.

"We may inject some further capital into this portfolio along with the existing investors, and we will do the same for future opportunities."

McCarthy said the Swedish real estate market was arguably one of the best in Europe in terms of liquidity.

"It is one of the lowest leveraged countries in Europe, there is a lot of private wealth and the corporates are arguably better positioned than most other countries, which will create the opportunities to divest the assets when chosen," he said.

Michael Bruhn, Valad's head of Nordics, added: "Our priority for this portfolio will be to protect and increase rental income, reduce void levels, reduce running costs, execute capital improvement projects and prepare for a progressive disposal programme."

Valad has four asset management offices in Sweden, as well as offices in Helsinki and Copenhagen, with a total of 50 people.

Ole Vagner, chairman of Kefren, said: "We wanted an investment manager with a strong presence in the Nordic region and the right resources to work through all the complex issues of this large portfolio."

The addition of the Kefren portfolio and the ECRE portfolio, which consists of 53 properties spread across the Nordics, Germany and the Netherlands, means Valad Europe now manages 15 pan-European funds with approximately €5bn of real estate on behalf of 60 institutional investors.