Standard Life Investments has entered the Italian property market with a forward funding agreement with US industrial developer Panattoni.

The fund manager is to buy Panattoni’s 1.12m sq ft warehouse development in Rolo, near Modena in northern Italy, for more than E67m (£54.3m) on behalf of its European Property Growth Fund. The deal also marks Panattoni’s debut development in Italy.

It is the third funding deal between the pair this year following tie-ups in Strykow near Lodz in central Poland and Plzen in the Czech Republic.

The purchase brings the value of the European Property Growth Fund to about E815m (£650m).

The fund manages 32 properties across 10 European countries. After completing two equity raises, Standard Life Investments is in the process of raising a third tranche of equity from investors worldwide.

Will Fulton, fund manager for European Property Growth Fund at Standard Life Investments, said: ‘Italy presents us with a strong investment opportunity because it is experiencing a consistent and rising demand for high quality logistics buildings to meet current occupier requirements.’

‘This particular site is in an excellent location adjacent to the A22 motorway, providing fast access to a number of large northern Italian cities.’

Standard Life said that despite the recent joint ventures with Panattoni, there was no formal arrangement between the two companies and each deal was decided on a case by case basis.