Celebrity-backed aAIM launches €2.9bn Euro fund

The three-year-old company has struck a deal with Bank of Scotland, which will inject £100m into a fund that will target property in the UK and mainland Europe.

Celebrity-backed aAIM has launched a €2.9 billion ($3.6 billion) European property fund with backing from Bank of Scotland Corporate, part of Bank of Scotland.

The bank has also taken a 20 percent stake in the firm, which launched in January 2003 and features backing from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Chairman of aAIM Mark Tagliaferri, chief executive Robert Whitton and investment director Stuart Le Gassick, who set up the company, are to share a £15 million pot as a result of the deal.

Bank of Scotland will inject £100 million of the £200m equity into the new fund, Symmetry, with the rest being matched by aAIM and its wealthy investors.

The fund will be 90 percent debt backed giving it a total buying capacity of £2 billion.

Two-thirds will be targeted at investments in Eastern and Western Europe. The other third will be spent in the UK.

aAIM hopes to invest the money over the next two years and it aims for an internal rate of return of 15 percent.

Since launching, the company has bought £1 billion of commercial property and has concentrated on buying well let prime buildings.

Tagliaferri was formerly at Guy Hands’ private equity firm Terra Firma. He also spent six years at Japanese bank Nomura.

He is a managing director at GI Partners, the trans-Atlantic private equity firm, where he is responsible for property investments.