AXA IM closes Euro fund at €445m – Exclusive

The real estate subsidiary of French insurance giant AXA Investment Managers will have a total war chest of €890 million, including leveraged capital, to invest throughout Western Europe and the Nordics. 

AXA Investment Managers (IM) – Real Assets, the Paris-based investment arm of French insurer AXA Investment Managers, has announced the final close of its Pan-European Value-Added Venture (PEVAV) with a total fund raise of €445 million. 

The firm corralled the funds from a global institutional investor base and will have a total investment capacity of €890 million, including leveraged capital. The primary focus for the vehicle will be on office, retail and logistics assets but AXA IM said it could also look at hotel, healthcare, residential and other alternative real estate assets.

AXA IM, formerly known as AXA Real Estate, said it was pursuing a medium-high risk strategy with PEVAV to allow investors to exploit the price potential of under-performing assets in core European markets, including France, Germany the UK, Italy, the Nordics and Spain.

The firm, who will also manage the fund, has already invested or committed over 75 percent of the equity raised for PEVAV across eight acquisitions in the UK, Spain and Italy. The portfolio includes Assembly London, a 131,000 square foot urban campus in west London; St Andrew’s House, a €43 million office building in central London and a €21.5 million shopping center in Port Siena, Italy.

AXA IM launched PEVAV in early 2014 and held a first close in May that year, followed by five more closes, including the final close this week. It is understood the firm had an original fund raising target of around €450 million for PEVAV.

Although it has already committed the majority of the capital in PEVAV I, AXA IM said that the firm's current priority was the performance of PEVAV rather than launching a successor vehicle.

Ian Chappell, head of value add and development funds at AXA IM, said: “To have been successful in raising a significant amount for this landmark venture for AXA IM – Real Assets is a strong endorsement of the expertise of our teams across Europe and our established track record in executing value-add initiatives for our client’s portfolios.”

“We believe the venture is well positioned to benefit from actively managing underperforming assets with inherently core investment characteristics, capturing the pricing appreciation arising from successful execution,” he added.

A spokesman for AXA IM said the firm began looking at value-add opportunities during the European economic recovery, following the global financial crisis, when investors’ appetite for risk notably increased.

In March, AXA IM launched its open-ended European core fund, AXA CoRE Europe. The firm said it had raised an initial haul of at least €500 million but aimed to collect between €3 billion and €5 billion.

AXA IM currently has more than €60 billion real estate assets under management.