AMB exits last Aussie RE investment

The Sydney-based family office has realized a 33 percent IRR on a two and a half-year real estate investment, and intends to look abroad for its real estate investments going forward.

AMB Capital Partners, the investment arm of the Sydney-based family office, has made a A$71 million (€50 million; $67 million) exit from what is to be its last Australian real estate investment. According to the firm it has realized a 33 percent IRR over a 27-month period from the sale.

The firm first invested in 360 Capital Property Group, a property funds management group, by leading a management buyout with a $30 million investment. AMB acquired an 80 percent stake with that transaction, and since then has supported the platform with several fundraises and acquisitions, according to a firm statement.

Trafalgar Property Group, an Australian-listed property investment group, made an unsolicited offer to acquire AMB’s entire stake in 360 earlier this year, and raised A$70.8 million on the Australian stock exchange to fund the acquisition. Trafalgar and AMB closed the exit last month, and following the closing AMB has told PERE that it will no longer make real estate investments in Australia, but instead will look offshore.

“Early on, when we were formulating the real estate component of our investment strategy, we had identified that management company valuations and non-core commercial real estate prices were cyclically depressed,” Joel Cann, managing director of AMB Capital Partners, said in the statement. “The 360 Capital opportunity provided us with the ideal vehicle within which to execute this strategy and take advantage of these market conditions.”

AMB also helped 360 to list its 360 Capital Industrial Fund in December of last year, which remains one of Australia’s only industrial-specific REITs and currently has A$347 million assets under management.

“The listing of 360 Capital Industrial Fund provided a catalyst for AMB-CP to generate significant interest in the group due to the open-ended nature of the Fund, and… the niche position it occupied,” Cann added.

In the exit, AMB accepted cash for its 80 percent stake and 360’s management rolled over its 20 percent stake. Cann concluded: “Value peaked in our investment in 360 Capital Property Group mid-year and so we are delighted to liquidate our entire position to achieve a clean and highly profitable exit.”

With approximately A$900 million under management, AMB focuses on investments in real estate, resources and infrastructure, both in Australia and in the rest of the Asia Pacific. The family office also told sister publication PEI in July that it would be steering away from fund investments in the future, focusing instead on direct or co-investments.