Savills investment management has launched a €300m fund on behalf of two Italian investors.
The Mercury fund has been launched for CONAD, the largest independent retailer consortium in Italy, and the Italian insurance group Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni.
The fund will allow three CONAD cooperatives to sell and lease back retail properties across central and northern Italy on long-term leases, allowing CONAD to concentrate on its core retail business in Italy.
Three sub-funds have been created within the Mercury fund, divided according to the assets of each of the three cooperatives, to be managed by Savills.
The fund will provide Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni with stable dividends over the long-term, helping the group to achieve its investment objectives in a era of low interest rates.
The CONAD cooperatives hold a 49 per cent stake in their respective sub-funds, and Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni holds the remaining 51 per cent share.
Giuseppe Oriani, managing director of Savills investment management, said the 12-month work to launch the fund "represents a significant milestone four our activities in Italy, which traditionally were focussed on the development of initiatives aimed mainly at foreign investors in the Italian market".
The fund has granted a €170m preliminary loan to leading Italian banking groups Banca IMI and Unicredit.