AEW launches French resi fund with €100m first closing

The Paris-based real estate investment manager has collected the first institutional commitments for its €400m RESIDYS Fund. 

AEW Europe, the Paris-based real estate investment manager, has launched its first real estate investment vehicle specifically targeting French residential assets.

The company said it would be targeting equity commitments of up to €400 million via the vehicle, called the RESIDYS Fund, which would provide the vehicle with a total investment capacity of approximately €650 million, assuming a maximum loan-to-value of 40 percent.

AEW Europe added that it had already raised more than €100 million from institutional investors and had exchanged on its first acquisition on behalf of the fund. However, the firm did not disclose the price or location of the property.

Stephane Sebban, fund manager of RESIDYS, said the firm would be targeting a 4 percent income yield once fully invested.

“Our objective is to assemble a high quality, well-balanced portfolio of French residential assets, comprising existing properties, developments and alternative housing, including senior housing, that are located in French cities that we believe are most likely to benefit from strong, positive demographic and urbanization trends,” Sebban added.

AEW Europe’s residential activity has been gaining momentum since it appointed Sébastien Znaty as head of residential asset management last year.

“The expansion of our fund management activities is continuing apace and, with over €1.5 billion of residential assets already under management, RESIDYS provides an opportunity to further leverage our specialist residential expertise. We will continue to focus on generating sustainable and stable cash-flows, as well as delivering capital growth, for our investors,” Raphaël Brault, head of France at AEW Europe.

The firm’s most recent fund activity took place last summer. In June, AEW Europe finished capital raising for its Europe Value Investors Fund with a final total of €412.6 million. That vehicle, which was launched in early 2014, had an original fundraising target of €350 million. The investment manager said it would be targeting core-plus and value-add office investments across Europe, but predominantly in the UK, France and Germany.

In July, the firm raised €400 million of fresh commitments for its core industrial and warehouse platform, Logistis, just 18 months after closing the fund with €1.3 billion in capital commitments in what was the largest equity raise the firm had ever had. The new equity, the firm said, was raised entirely from existing investors, which included a number of institutional investors from across Europe and Asia.