GERMANY – Universal Investment has set up a Spezialfonds that will act as a master fund structure for an unnamed investor’s real estate portfolio and could grow up to €1.8bn in size.

A spokesman for Universal confirmed to IP Real Estate that the investor was a “large German institution, a pension fund”, and that it would be administering the fund together with three unnamed asset managers.

The Spezialfonds has already made its first investment in Australia and will be targeting properties worldwide at prices between €5m and €50m.

The spokesman could “neither confirm nor deny” that the investor was the German banking pension fund BVV, which recently told IP Real Estate it had invested in Australia through a new real estate strategy.

BVV managing director Rainer Jakubowski said he did not want to make any more comments on the pension fund’s real estate strategy beyond what he had already told IP Real Estate.

The fund will aim to invest more than €1bn in equity with a debt ratio up to 50%.

Universal said the target volume might be as high as €1.8bn, which would make it the largest real estate Spezialfonds on the market judged by currently available figures.

The three fund managers taking part in the Spezialfonds specialise in office, retail, logistics and residential properties.

Universal was granted approval to issue real estate Spezialfonds towards the end of 2011.

Alexander Tannenbaum, managing director at Universal, said: “So far, we have issued 10 funds in total in Germany and Luxembourg for institutional investors and asset managers with a combined equity volume of more than €4bn.”