AXA holds €147.5m second closing for Euro development fund

The real estate fund management division of French insurer AXA has brought its equity pile for AXA Real Estate Development Venture III to €377.5m after is second closing.

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, the real estate fund management division of French insurer AXA, has held the second closing of its pan-European development fund, AXA Real Estate Development Venture III, bringing its equity haul for the vehicle to €377.5 million.

The firm announced today that it had closed on a further €147.5 million for the fund for which it is ultimately targeting €600 million. With leverage and reinvestment proceeds, AXA said the fund was capable of investing up to €1.3 billion. Investors in the fund include pension funds, insurance companies and other third parties from across Europe.

AXA plans to use the fund to invest opportunistically in both development sites and existing assets which require redevelopment. It said it had committed most of its capital already to transactions including a 215,000 square foot office in the City of London and a development site in the western business district of Paris with consent for 430,560 square foot office which it has already majority pre-let. Both properties should reach practical completion by 2013. The fund is expected to be used to fund more transactions in both Paris and London, but will also include other major cities.

Dennis Lopez, who joined AXA as global chief investment officer in 2009 from SUN Real Estate, said: “The support from investors for Development Venture III continues our strong fundraising progress so far this year.” In January, AXA raised €350 million for its European debt fund, Commercial Real Estate Senior 1, in a first closing. AXA has invested in real estate debt since 2005 but recently rekindled its appetite for loan investing after the credit crunch forced a market slowdown.

AXA has also been ramping up its opportunistic team of late. In October last year, the platform appointed Laurent Vouin to expand the business. He will also be responsible for AXA Real Estate Development Fund III.

AXA REIM had €39 billion of assets under management as of September 2010.