Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group has achieved a final close of its debut European real estate fund, having raised €430 million ($545 million).
Carlyle Europe Real Estate Partners is an opportunity fund focusing on a single asset approach and investing in offices, retail and industrial and logistics centres in the €20 million to €80 million range.
The firm has not disclosed the identity of the fund’s investors although the Dutch Metalworkers pension fund is among them. The Carlyle Europe real estate team was established in 2001, and has already made 15 acquisitions of properties with the fund in France, Germany, Italy and the UK including Jupiter, a portfolio of 36 properties in Italy in 2003.
“We are delighted to have completed fundraising, and the team has already made excellent acquisitions and developments in Europe,” said Eric Sasson, a Carlyle managing director and head of the Europe real estate team. “I am very positive about the future property climate for us and our ability to expand our investment activities in Europe.”
The European real estate team of 22, including acquisition and asset management professionals, is based in offices in Paris, Milan and Frankfurt. The fund focuses on France, Germany and Italy as primary target markets, and will also consider investing in Spain, the UK and the Nordic countries.
“We plan to make 20 to 30 acquisitions over the life of the fund, and to hold investments for around five years. We have already invested €280 million of the fund, and we will complete our first exits from current investments in 2004. I believe we are in a strong position to take advantage of the increased interest in the property markets,” added Sasson.
In 2003, Carlyle completed the acquisitions of 107 Cheapside in London, an 11-storey office building in Dusseldorf, two office buildings in Paris (the headquarters of the Continent Insurers and Imprimerie Nationale) and the Jupiter portfolio of 36 properties from Italy’s Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze.
Other real estate funds (opportunity funds) targeting the European market include Doughty Hanson RE and Europa Capital Partners. Blackstone has a real estate operation with a European presence in London, as does Apollo Management. Deutsche Bank is also expected to complete the sale of its $1.2bn real estate operation in the near future.