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Catella launches debut parking fund

The Munich-based real estate investment manager hopes the fund will allow it to tap into the estimated 48,000 parking garages across Europe. 

Catella Real Estate, the Munich-based real estate investment manager, has launched a specialized €200 million vehicle for investing in parking sites across Europe.

Catella said it plans to invest around 70 percent of the capital in core European markets such as Germany and the Netherlands. The remaining 30 percent of the portfolio will be invested in other European markets such as Poland, Czech Republic and Portugal.

The open-ended fund, Catella Parken Europa, is aimed at institutional and semi-professional investors that can commit a minimum of €5 million.

Catella’s Dutch partner Orange Investment Managers, which focuses on the acquisition and asset management of parking garages in Europe, will help to source investments on behalf of the fund. The company has more than 25 years’ experience in the parking investment business, and has acquired parking assets across Europe worth more than €800 million.

“Parking as an asset class is still often underestimated, although car parks have a higher average internal rate of return than office or retail properties. Together with our experienced partner, we want to build a broadly diversified portfolio of lucrative parking garages all over Europe for our investors, with a balanced risk-reward profile,” said Henrik Fillibeck, managing director of Catella Real Estate.

Catella’s head of group research Thomas Beyerle said he estimates there are around 48,000 parking garages across Europe and added that the market is expected to grow further in years to come because car sharing, electric cars and driverless cars will increase demand for paid-for parking space.

“Parking space increasingly comes at a premium, especially in city centers, airports and hospitals, while parking charges are rising significantly faster than inflation. In addition, long leases mean that parking garages enjoy low levels of volatility and stable income,” added Beyerle.

Catela Real Estate is not the first firm to create a fund specifically for parking, though the vehicle could one of the largest in Europe of its kind if its target is successfully reached. In 2014, Dutch firm Bouwinvest Investment Managers launched its third Bouwinvest European Real Estate Parking Fund. The firm managed to raise more than €170 million on behalf of the vehicle.

In October, the Munich-based firm raised €155 million from six institutional investors for its first Dutch-focused residential fund, passing its original fundraising target by €5 million. The core-plus, open-ended fund, Panta Rhei Dutch Residential, was launched in early 2015 and focuses on residential properties in Dutch provinces, with a targeted yield of between 6 percent and 7 percent.

?Catella Real Estate was formed in May 2015, when parent company Catella appointed the head of its banking operations, Timo Nurminen, to lead its new real estate investment management business.