Valad Europe has grown its assets under management by EUR1.6bn over the past 18 months.
Highlights from the period include the launch of the Valad European Diversified Fund (VEDF).
VEDF launched with initial equity of EUR180m and total fund capacity of EUR450m to invest in UK and German real estate, which could be doubled to EUR900m once the first phase of capital is invested.
Valad has also acquired the investment adviser and asset manager operations of the EUR600m Polish Retail Fund from GE Capital. New bank/CMBS mandates meanwhile totalled EUR470m, while new equity mandates and portfolio acquisitions totalled EUR250 m.
David Kirkby, chief investment officer of Valad Europe, says: “In response to increasing demand from investors looking for attractive opportunities in European real estate, we launched VEDF with several large international investors and also set up the Select Industrial Real Estate Fund in joint venture with South African Investor, Grindrod. We have made good progress on both, acquiring more than EUR100m of assets in 10 transactions late in 2013.”
Valad Europe was also appointed asset manager on a large private equity portfolio loan sale and on several new bank workout mandates with a combined value of over EUR470m. These included the Gemini (Propinvest) CMBS portfolio in the UK and the Mansford and Edeka retail CMBS mandates in Germany, while in the Netherlands it was appointed to manage the Landmark portfolio of office assets and the Dutch Offices I & II portfolios.
Kirkby adds: “Bank workouts have been a feature of the commercial real estate market since the financial crisis. As such, working to ensure maximum return of value on behalf of the lenders and receivers has been a core part of our activity. In the past year, we traded approximately EUR600 m in assets out of our bank workout and fund portfolios.”
Valad Europe has strengthened its senior management team with the additions of Howard Barnes as head of Spain and Karl Delattre as head of France, as well as Thierry Leleu as head of funds management.
“As investment activity continues to pick up, we are experiencing accelerating growth across the business, especially working with an increasing number of investors who require specifically tailored investment strategies targeting value add and active asset management opportunities. We have over EUR1bn to invest in various markets where we see opportunities in Europe. The European real estate market is demonstrating attractive value qualities relative to other global real estate markets and we expect portfolio and single asset acquisitions activity to continue strongly in 2014 as we seek to invest early in the European real estate cycle,” says Kirkby.