Virginia joins US backers of Europa fund

Another US pension plan is investing in Europa Capital’s fourth pan-European real estate fund. Virginia Retirement System approved a commitment of around €75m, joining other investors such as Los Angeles County Employees and San Diego City Employee, which invested last year.

Europa is targeting €750m and has been raising capital  for about two years. Virginia’s allocation to real assets last year was over 9% but its target is 15%. Other fund managers closing on new capital for investing in Europe include Madison International, Activum, Kames and Hearthstone.

Activum’s SG Fund III, launched last year, raised €380m from international investors for German value-added investing. The firm said the latest fund took just six months to raise. Madison held the final closing in April, at $825m, for its fifth Real Estate Liquidity fund, which invests in both the US and Europe.

It has already bought New Century House in Dublin, the Statoil office in Oslo and invested in Canary Wharf owner Songbird Estates. Kames took in £30m from Kent County Superannuation Fund and £10m from Molins UK pension fund to its UK Active Value Property Fund, taking equity raised since last October’s launch to £155m.

UK residential specialist Hearthstone won a £30m mandate from Falkirk Council Pension Fund to invest in social and affordable housing in Scotland. The money will be  the first stage of a new Scottish housing fund. The fund will invest in social housing via fixed-rate corporate bonds issued to registered social landlords and in affordable residential schemes by buying from developers and letting the properties to housing associations.