AXA Euro debt fund reaches €530m

The French insurer has taken fundraising for AXA Commercial Real Estate Senior 1 to more than half a billion Euros having corralled an additional €180 million since January.

AXA Real Estate Investment Management has raised €530 million so far for its European property debt fund, it said today.

The French insurer revealed it had raised an additional €180 million for Commercial Real Estate Senior 1 (CRE1) since January when it held a first close of €350 million. A final close for the fund is due this summer.

Since the start of the year, AXA said it had invested in eight different loans with a total value of €375 million backed by various types of real estate assets including office, retail, and hotels located in the UK and continental Europe. All of the debt positions are senior and are secured by stable prime properties with an average loan-to-value of less than 60 percent.

Isabelle Scemama, AXA Real Estate Investment Managers’ head of commercial real estate finance, said CRE1 was currently the sole investment vehicle available on the market offering long- term investors the possibility to enter the European commercial real estate senior loan market.

“It underlines our belief that there is a clear demand from investors to gain access to the asset class. The fact that several other insurance companies have recently announced their intention to invest in senior real estate loans, either directly for their own account or via a fund route, further endorses our belief that the European market will evolve towards the US model, where about 30 percent of commercial real estate transactions are underwritten by insurance companies,” she said.

She added: “This is a very positive step for real estate debt and the ongoing institutional demand for this risk, return characteristic will hopefully establish it as a mainstream asset class in a diversified portfolio.”