Cromwell emerges as winning bidder for Valad Europe

A €145 million purchase price reflects an EBITDA multiple of approximately 6.4x for the European fund manager.

New York-based private equity real estate giant, The Blackstone Group, has sold Valad Europe to Brisbane-based investment house Cromwell Property Group in one of the most eagerly anticipated corporate level transactions in Europe.

Following a sale process that started in September last year, London-headquartered Valad was sold for €145 million in a deal that reflected an EBITDA multiple of approximately 6.4x.

The fund manager currently manages €5.3 billion of assets across 24 mandates in 13 European countries. It will continue to be run by the same management team led by Martyn McCarthy, executive chairman of Valad Europe, and be operated as an independent business. Valad will provide Cromwell with a pan-European real estate investment management platform to complement its existing Asia-Pacific fund management activities.

“The acquisition of Valad Europe presents the opportunity to acquire a successful, value add property funds management platform with scale across a number of geographies and sectors,” Cromwell chief executive, Paul Weightman, said in a statement. “The business is a strong cultural fit with Cromwell, is complementary to our existing funds management operations and furthers our strategy to increase the earnings contribution from funds management to approximately 20 percent.”

Blackstone has owned a majority position in Valad Europe via its Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI global opportunity fund since 2011 when it purchased of the larger Valad Property Group of Australia for A$227 million (€160 million; $180 million).

“Valad Europe has been a successful investment for us and the business continues to strengthen its presence in the European market. We wish the team well with Cromwell and are confident that they will continue to create further success,” Anthony Myers, head of real estate Europe at Blackstone, said in a statement.