AEW makes UK buy for pan regional fund

The Paris-based property fund manager has made its third investment for its large value-added vehicle, European Property Investors Special Opportunities.

AEW Europe has made the third investment for its European value-added fund, which raised €800 million ($1 billion) last year.

The firm has paid around €68 million ($91 million) for a distribution facility known as the Bridge in Dartford in the UK on behalf European Property Investors Special Opportunities.

The property was developed by US Denver firm ProLogis in 2007 and is close to London and next to the south eastern region of the M25 motorway. The property is leased entirely by supermarket group Sainsbury for a remaining term of 18 and a half years.

Rob Reiskin, head of investments for Europe at AEW, said in a statement: “The combination of limited liquidity and the presence of motivated sellers is creating an interesting dynamic for those with access to capital. In this instance, we were able to buy a prime property at an attractive yield. Importantly, we were also able to secure debt finance on highly competitive terms.”

Previous investments for the European Property Investors Special Opportunities fund are a €140 million deal to acquire a diversified UK retail, office and logistics portfolio and a €145.6 million investment in a diversified greater Paris mixed property portfolio. These deals were completed in the fourth quarter of 2008. In that quarter, Paris-based AEW Europe decided to stop using the name of its London-based affiliate boutique fund manager Curzon Global Partners.

Chief executive of Curzon, Ric Lewis, who is also chief investment officer of AEW Europe, is stepping down from both roles later this year. Lewis decided to quit the business at the end of last year but is staying on until the summer.