Alistair Calvert leads management buyout of Gramercy Europe
The management of Gramercy Europe Limited, a real estate investment fund manager responsible for EUR2.5 billion of European logistics and industrial transactions since 2015, has completed the acquisition of the business from The Blackstone Group, following the latter’s acquisition of Gramercy’s US parent company, Gramercy Property Trust, which completed last week.
Gramercy Europe closed its latest fund, Gramercy Property Europe III Ltd (GPE III), in September last year, with EUR260 million of equity commitments. Since January it has closed on EUR350 million of primarily modern, single tenant net lease assets, across its core Western Europe markets. The EUR175 million June acquisition of a seven building, 282,700 sq m portfolio of logistics assets located in France, from Tristan Capital Partners, was a major transaction which represented GPE III’s entry into the French logistics market and one of the largest French logistics portfolio transaction undertaken this year.
Gramercy is in advanced negotiations on a number of individual property and portfolio acquisitions and expects to exceed a total of EUR500 million of acquisitions by the year end, taking GPE III to over 80 per cent deployed.
The independent management buyout provides the platform from which Gramercy Europe will launch a fourth vehicle, targeting a final close in Q1 2019, with circa EUR400 million of equity commitments, primarily from pension funds. Gearing of up to 60 per cent will provide potential firepower of EUR1 billion.
The strategy of the new vehicle will be similar to that of GPE III, with a focus on sourcing investments through funding speculative and build to suit developments, undertaking sale-leaseback transactions and acquiring existing leased assets in the logistics and light industrial property sector, typically between EUR10 million and EUR150 million.
Led by Alistair Calvert, the Gramercy Europe management team has transacted on more than EUR2.5 billion of European logistics and light industrial property, across France, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany, in the last four years. In 2017 Gramercy Europe sold a 39 asset European portfolio to AXA IM – Real Assets for over EUR1 billion.
Alistair Calvert, CEO of Gramercy Europe, says: “Over the past four years the Gramercy Europe management team has been able to consistently extract significant upside on behalf of its investors through identifying, acquiring, managing and disposing of typically modern, single-tenant properties in key logistics conurbations throughout Western Europe.”
“Today’s announcement positions us to continue capitalising on both the structural changes underpinning ongoing demand from a range of occupiers, especially in the e-commerce sector, for fit-for-purpose warehouses, and also the deep relationships that we have built with some of Europe’s leading businesses, who increasingly require this type of space, as well as a variety of other stakeholders.”
“We expect the strength of the Eurozone to provide a favourable backdrop as we deploy the remaining proceeds of GPE III and build a pipeline for 2019. Whilst we are seeing yield compression impacting on certain markets, a result of an increasingly competitive backdrop as more global money looks to access the sector, we have closed ten transactions this year where we are confident of adding value and expect to close more before the year end.”