Doughty Hanson: 2009 is ‘year of opportunity’

The UK private equity firm hails the current calendar year as the year to take advantage of openings in the European property market.

The real estate arm of UK private equity firm Doughty Hanson sees 2009 as a year of opportunity, according to its annual report published yesterday.

The London-based firm says Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate has around 40 percent of its second real estate fund left to deploy. This allows it to “take advantage of openings in the market to secure assets at attractive price levels,” it said. “Selection remains crucial, as is being disciplined about making investments at the right price and focusing on our core skills, such as retail expertise,” it adds.

According to the annual report, the firm’s key targets are investment and development in the office and retail sectors.

At the end of last year, the firm acquired Old George Mall in Salisbury. Earlier last year it completed an investment in Golf Parc, Toulouse, which is a 12 hectare light industrial site on the outskirts of the city – the fund’s first investment in France.

Doughty Hanson also flags up the appointment at the end of 2008 of Anders Tagt as principal and head of its Nordic team where the company continues to seek investments.

Its second fund raised €530 million in 2005. Its first fund raised $616 million in 2000.

Former head of real estate John Howard retired to Florida.

Julian Gabriel and Edwards Bates share the senior principal positions.