Benson Elliot spending reaches €500m

The newly formed firm has invested a quarter of its debut private equity real estate fund.

London-based Benson Elliot, the private equity real estate firm launched by Marc Mogull in 2005, has invested a quarter of Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners II following the acquisition of a Parisian office portfolio.

The package of six properties includes the famous Opera Italiens on the 9th Arrondissement in the City, the former headquarters of national newspaper Le Monde. The purchase has been carried out in conjunction with the French real estate firm Générale Continentale Investissements (GCI), Benson Elliot said in an announcement today.

The €240 million ($312 million) deal takes Benson Elliot’s spending to approximately €500 million in three deals since launching the fund last year.

The fund, which raised €335 million of equity, has acquisition firepower of €2 billion with leverage, according to the firm. It is Mogull’s maiden vehicle since leaving Doughty Hanson Real Estate Fund in 2005 to set up Benson Elliot.

Since raising the fund, Benson Elliot has invested €120 million in a residential development in Copenhagen in joint venture with Danish developer Sjælsø Gruppen and €112 million in the hotel acquisition of the Deutsche-Japaneische Center in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Benson Elliott’s most recent latest deal is just the latest Paris office acquisition by pan European investors.

Last month, Macquarie Global Property Advisors (MGPA) and GCI announced the purchase of an office development in Paris for €113 million ($146 million).

In a statement, Trish Geery, senior partner of Benson Elliot, said: “The market is strong, with healthy supply and demand factors underpinning the outlook. Particularly in and around Paris demand for high quality office space had reduced vacancy over the last few years, and we expect rental growth to the result.”

Geery previously worked at Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Fund in Europe. While at Whitehall, she led the acquisition and development of a 100,000 square foot office Paris office project with GCI.