REAL ESTATE – Warburg-Henderson, a German provider of real estate funds for institutional investors, plans to allocate €1.4bn to acquire western European commercial properties this year.

"Considering the record level of investment for us in 2006, this is an ambitious goal," noted Henning Klöppelt, Warburg-Henderson’s chief executive.

In 2006, Warburg-Henderson spent €1bn to acquire 30 properties in nine European countries.

The firm was launched in 2001 as a joint venture between German private bank MM Warburg and UK-based Henderson Global Investors. Since then, it has taken in €2.3bn in assets from institutional investors. Pension funds make up 30% of the asset volume.

Warburg-Henderson also said that during 2007, it would raise the number of its real estate funds to nine from eight currently while aiming to increase the number of investors to above 60, from 50 now. The provder’s staff in Hamburg, meanwhile, is to increase to 26 from 20 during the year.

Regarding its latest real estate fund, launched last December, Warburg-Henderson said the goal was for it to accumulate €1bn in assets from institutional investors.

The fund, which focuses on commercial properties in western Europe, has already taken in €85m in seed money from investors.

Its target return, according to Warburg-Henderson, will be 4.5% net of taxes and cocts annually over the next 10 years.

Warburg-Henderson is just one of several German providers of real estate funds targeted exclusively to institutions.

Others include iii-investments, a unit of Munich-based bank HVB, DekaBank, and OIK, the market leader with an estimated €6bn invested in the products. OIK is 95% owned by IVG Immobilien, a listed German real estate firm.