Curzon Global Partners, AEW Europe make 3x return in Germany

The European fund manager has rolled up and sold a package of German retail property for more than €900m, making three times money for LPs in the European Property Investors vehicle.

London-based boutique fund manager Curzon Global Partners and affiliate AEW Europe has sold 51 retail properties in Germany to aAIM for more than €900 million ($1.2 billion).

The package, known as the Gemini Portfolio, consists of city center assets and out-of-town stores occupied mainly by home improvement chain Praktiker, and fashion group Sinnleffers.

Announcing the deal, Ric Lewis, chief executive of Curzon, said, “Germany is the world’s third largest economy and has the European Union’s largest population. Large-scale retail property continues to be a strong investment focus for international capital.”

He added: “We’ve been heavily invested in Germany and we remain committed to investing in that country. This transaction was to return to market weighting for the EPI Fund and our European portfolio in general.”

The firm did not release details of the transaction, but market participants suggest the package has been sold at a 5.5 percent yield and has made the fund three times its investment. EPI raised €759 million in 2004 targeting value-added situations, specifically outsourced offices, retail and logistics. Though AEW Europe is headquartered in Paris, EPI is managed out of Curzon’s London office.

aAIM is a London-based real estate investor whose LPs include pension funds and high net worth individuals such as Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

aAIM has been branching out into Europe from the UK in recent times. In 2006 it launched a €2 billion acquisition programme jointly with Bank of Scotland Corporate, a division of Bank of Scotland, for the European Symmetry Fund.