Alpha Real Capital captures Close Bros’ £560m RE arm

The London-based real estate investment management firm has acquired the property fund management division of Close Brothers, which is seeking to concentrate on its core businesses.

Alpha Real Capital, the London-based real estate investment management business, has acquired the property fund management platform of financial services conglomerate Close Brothers, for a nominal sum.

The acquisition, which was announced today and is subject to regulatory approval, sees Alpha pick up a platform with 35 staff and approximately £560 million (€641 million; $895 million) in real estate assets under management.

Alpha will bolt the division onto its already sizeable operation. The firm launched its own £400 million UK fund alongside another firm Rockmount, last year.

The firm, which has offices in France, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg in Europe and Bangalore in India, is led by chief executive Phillip Rose and counts renowned real estate entrepreneur Sir John Beckwith among its partners.

Beckwith has held senior and ownership positions at a number of firms in the sector including Pacific Real Estate Capital Partners, which last month established an alternative property fund business, and Europa Capital, which was this week sold to UK firm Rockefeller Group International.

Close Brothers said the sale was executed as part of a wider strategy to focus on the development of its ‘high growth’ UK wealth and asset management businesses. Last year, the firm spun out its three private equity businesses.

“The transaction will result in a reduction in Close Brothers’ funds under management of approximately £560 million but the impact on the profitability of the Asset Management division will be negligible,” the firm said in a statement.

Property fund management was part of the asset management division of the conglomerate which itself accounted for 9 percent of its adjusted operating profit to 31 July 2009, according to company information made available.

Close Brothers biggest profit areas were in banking and securities.