Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company has entered a Finnish retail joint venture with Swedish private equity firm Ratos.

The Finnish pensions insurer is selling 22 assets to a new company, Serena Properties, in which it will hold a 43% stake.

Ratos, which will acquire 56% of shares in Serena Properties, will manage the portfolio.

The deal is the company’s first direct transaction since 2005 and is expected to close in January next year.

The 152,046sqm portfolio of grocery-anchored and warehouse retail property is worth €191.5m ($203.7m).

Tenants include S-group and Kesko.

Ilkka Tomperi, Varma’s investment director responsible for real estate, said Serena Properties would be a “focused operator” in the Finnish and Swedish commercial real estate markets.

Christian Hohenthal, head of capital markets at JLL Finland, which advised Ratos, said: “We continue to see increasing momentum in the Finnish investment market, particularly in the retail sector, as underlined by this significant portfolio deal.”

Varma recently sold half its stake in logistics and industrial property investment company Certeum to Tungsten Investment, a company affiliated with the Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe IV fund.

It also sold 50% of its shares in Certeum, leaving it with a 19.5% stake, putting the investment below the 20% threshold to be counted as one of its affiliate companies.