M&G Real Estate has marked the start of its 150th anniversary by completing or committing to GBP3.5bn worth of deals in the past 12 months.
This total includes over GBP2.5bn of acquisitions, across 123 individual assets mainly in UK commercial real estate, but increasingly in UK residential and international property.
Alex Jeffrey, chief executive of M&G Real Estate, says some 70 per cent of all 2013 deals were conducted off-market.
M&G Real Estate’s ability to transact in scale was evidenced by its UK acquisitions of Bankside 2 & 3 (SE1), Riverside (SE1), three Tesco superstores, 18 British Car Auctions sites and 401 market rented units at Stratford Halo and a portfolio of 534 homes acquired from Berkeley Group.
M&G Real Estate has also conducted several swap deals – with Hermes (Guildford Friary Centre), SWIP and the BP Pensions Fund – and partnered with a leading Asian institution.
Jeffrey says: “Throughout a century and a half, since the first investment we made for Prudential at Holborn Bars, our investment approach has been based on consistent principles of long-term, cautious, income-driven investing underpinned by strong fundamental research.
“As we enter our 150th year in property investment, it is pleasing to announce a record level of annual transactions. These deals bring good value to our clients, including Prudential and other institutional custodians of long term savings, either through capital value or rental growth across a diversified range of sectors.
“Aside from this strong performance, two things have been particularly pleasing. First is M&G Real Estate’s long standing ability to innovate. This was most notably seen in a pioneering move back into the UK residential market – something we did in scale – but we have also conducted swap transactions and joint ventures to make good deals happen in very competitive markets.
“Second is the outstanding work done by M&G Real Estate’s asset management and investment teams. Their work makes a huge contribution to the sort of investment returns required by our growing number of institutional clients.
“As the economy improves I would expect the coming 12 months to continue to provide further opportunities, whether in Europe, or Asia where we are growing our footprint. Whilst competition for assets is growing, what seems clear is that investors with scale, skill and a proven track record will continue to prosper, both in attracting deals and client capital.”
On the international front, M&G Real Estate has opened offices in Japan and Korea and the appointed senior management in both locations. M&G Real Estate’s core Asia real estate investment strategy has further diversified its portfolio with an acquisition in Japan – a retail property in an established urban residential neighbourhood of central Kobe.
In Europe M&G Real Estate unveiled an enlarged office in Paris in addition to a new appointment in Frankfurt to support its growing number of asset acquisitions in the region. The team in Paris is responsible for identifying core investment opportunities in France, Germany, Benelux and the Nordics and the active asset management of those assets.