US teachers pension fund TIAA-CREF has bought e493m of French real estate from Standard Life Investments.
“We’re very excited about this investment,” said Laura McGrath, managing director of the European investment at the fund, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund.
“It enables us to add some very high quality assets to our European portfolio and represents an initial foray into the warehouse distribution market within France.”
The move adds to TIAA-CREF’s existing $1.3bn (e1bn) European real estate portfolio. It has a total of $50bn in real estate.
Invesco, which acted for TIAA-CREF, said the purchase was part of the fund’s “continuing strategy to build its European exposure within its global portfolio”. TIAA-CREF has been investing in European real estate since 1995 and in continental Europe since around 1990. The portfolio is focused on the UK and France.
“They’re not new to the European scene,” said Duncan Watt, head of European transactions at Invesco Real Estate. “They have been looking to increase their portfolio in real estate in France. They’re very careful and cautious investors.”
He said the fund was also looking to invest in Belgium, Spain, France and other territories.
The new properties comprise three office and logistics centres around Paris developed by Standard Life Investments.