Blue chip investment team launches unique €100 million South East European Heritage Property Fund
Muscat, Oman: A team of leading European investment managers is launching the Element's South East European Heritage Property Fund and raising €100 million of equity from international investors.
The Fund is in the process of raising €100 million in equity and has secured up to €400 million of debt through a syndicate of European banks. The Fund's senior management has committed to personally investing €2 million whilst they also have commitments from a number of Middle Eastern investors (including members of various royal families) for up to 15% of the balance of the cash.
The Fund - will invest in high quality city centre residences in key markets (including Ljubljana, Belgrade, Bucharest, Zagreb, Istanbul and Athens) where there is a growing shortage and is forecasting exceptional returns of between 60 75% IRR subject to the preferred portfolio mix.
The Fund also has an existing pipeline of high quality and high return developments already identified in key cities, which include certain key Western European cities, including London.
The Fund will target properties which have historical, cultural, architectural value in city centres to preserve the history of the city with also possible private public partnership.
The Fund can also invest in hotel and leisure developments and has already identified a significant property in partnership with one of the world's leading five star hotel chains.
Turnover of the projects will be shorter than the industry average with a typical lifespan of 2 year on each investment. The proceeds of the sales from each development will be reinvested into the Fund however, dividends may be paid after year 2.
The Fund aims to take advantage of recent financial situation within the real estate market, to acquire distressed value city centre properties for future developments and will be looking to also build an attractive land bank for future development.
For each investment the Fund is going to form a Special Purpose Vehicle which will be formed for each single development project. The Fund can also hold the title of real estate if the tax benefits will be in favour of the investor.
In addition, the Fund will be able to receive rental income and to benefit from yield 'arbitrages' in high end London market (and other Western European cities). As a result, the Fund has put in place a 'blue-chip' team of advisors including Colliers (who will provide regular NAV calculations), Foxtons and KPMG.
Finally, the Fund is in the process of recruiting a very 'blue-chip' Chairman and Advisory Board.
The Fund's other Key characteristics include:
- Exceptional returns forecast of between 60 75% IRR subject to preferred portfolio mix.
- The ability to identify niche development opportunities in key heritage sites and ‘fast track’ the planning process.
- 'Blue chip' partners - incorporating the leading developers in each market.
- Fund raising under-pinned by commitments from Middle Eastern investors.
- Bank debt/loan agreements already negotiated for individual investments/developments.
- Fund will be insulated from any local currency issues by both investing and paying development costs in Euros.
Commenting on the launch, the Fund's Joint Managing Director, Savvas Liasis said:
"We are delighted to be launching this unique, high growth Fund at such a timely moment in the European property cycle."
"I believe that we will have first mover advantage in a number of key capital cites where prices have fallen sharply and there is a marked shortage of potential buyers."
"We will be looking for a flexible mix of investments reflecting the risk : reward profile of the Fund's investors and will also be targeting possible subsidies offered by EU Heritage Funds, which could significantly enhance returns. Furthermore, there are significant public to private partnership opportunities for historical heritage properties."
"Our aim is for the Fund aims to be fully invested within 18 months and producing rental income within 6 months and capital returns from the sale of developments within 12 months."
"Finally, the Fund is considering a listing on the UK's AIM exchange or another designated market."
The Fund will be tax efficient via Cyprus registration/domicile and also EU regulated. The Company is registered as a regulated ICIS under the Law and recognised as a private ICIS by the Central Bank of Cyprus and which will be offered to experienced investors. The Company's base currency is the EURO.