Catalyst makes €150m German swoop, wins ADIA mandate

The London-based firm has bought a 30-strong retail portfolio in Germany and has been mandated by the United Arab Emirates’ preeminent sovereign wealth fund to asset manage a large office in Belgium.

Catalyst Capital, the London-based private equity real estate firm, has completed one of its largest investments in recent years, acquiring a portfolio of German retail properties valued at more than €150 million.

The firm announced it has bought a portfolio of 30 properties with an aggregate floor space of approximately 1.3 million square feet via a transaction comprising both shares and asset deals. The seller was not disclosed.

According to UK commercial property magazine, Property Week, the acquisition was made on behalf of its  opportunity fund, Catalyst European Property Fund, which closed on €230 million in early 2009. The magazine also reported the yield for the deal was about 8.75 percent.

The transaction was majority financed through debt by German bank Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and Austrian bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft und Österreichische Postsparkasse Aktiengesellschaft (BAWAG P.S.K.), the former lending €85 million of senior debt and the latter lending €21.5 million of stretched senior debt.

Steven Jedlicki, director at Catalyst Capital, said: “We structured the transaction in good cooperation with the seller. A sound balance of long-term and medium-term leases, strong anchor tenants, plus the potential for optimising individual locations, are cornerstones of our strategy.”

The portfolio includes retail warehouses, supermarkets, discount outlets, DIY shops and hypermarket properties in locations including Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia. Tenants include German retail chains Edeka, REWE, Real, OBI and Hornbach.

Property Week also reported Catalyst has been appointed as asset manager by the United Arab Emirates’ preeminent sovereign wealth fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), for a 650,000 square foot office recently bought in Ghent, Belgium. ADIA is understood to have paid approximately €100 million for the office at G Crommenlaan 9 to an Icelandic investor.