CapMan sells European property portfolio for €378m

The Nordic private equity firm has sold the entire 22-property portfolio from its first fund to a consortium led by Samson Properties.

CapMan Real Estate, the property arm of the Nordic private equity firm, has sold the existing portfolio of CapMan Real Estate Fund I to a consortium of real estate investors for €377.5 million ($490.8 million) in a further sign of robust activity in the region’s property sector.

CapMan Real Estate Fund I raised €100 million in June 2005 to invest in commercial properties in Helsinki. The fund currently owns 22 assets, including six core investments, eleven value-added investments and five opportunistic investments. All of the existing properties are to be sold to the consortium, which includes Icelandic real estate firm Samson Properties, UK financial institution The Royal Bank of Scotland and Finnish investment company Ajanta Oy.

“The announced transaction is a good example of the currently very active real estate market, which has plenty of buyers, sellers, properties and money in circulation,” Markku Hietala, the head of CapMan Real Estate, said in a statement. “Demand for larger real estate portfolios is at a high level.”

Following the transaction, CapMan will continue to invest out of its first real estate fund, which has remaining investment capacity of €200 million. Earlier this year, the firm held a first close on its second real estate fund, raising €67 million out of a targeted €150 million. Whereas the firm’s first vehicle focused on commercial properties in Helsinki, the second fund is investing in property development throughout Finland.

The Nordic property markets have been increasingly drawing private equity real estate investors due to strong economic growth and increasing demand for commercial and retail space. Earlier this year, Niam, the largest private equity real estate firm in Northern Europe, agreed to buy a €400-million commercial property portfolio in Sweden. In September, ING Real Estate announced the launch of the €1-billion Nordic Property Fund. And over the past year, Aberdeen Property Investors has launched a number of property vehicles targeting Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.