ECE raises €740m for second retail fund

The large European property company is targeting €850 million for its second private equity-style vehicle.

ECE, the European property company best known for prime urban shopping centre projects, has raised €740 million for its second private equity fund that will concentrate on the acquisition of retail assets in large city locations.

Investors in the ECE European Prime Shopping Centre Fund II include sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, and insurance companies from Europe, Asia, and the US. The firm is targeting €850 million for the fund which with leverage will give ECE total firepower of around €2 billion.

ECE Fund II will continue the investment strategy of its predecessor and will focus on acquiring existing European shopping centers with value-add potential. Its investment period will end in 2018.

The firm has already made its first investment from the second fund including the recent acquisition of the Stern-Center in downtown Lüdenscheid, Germany. It comprises a sales area of approximately 323,000 square feet on four levels with a total of 110 specialist stores.

The acquisition of Zielone Arkady in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, which was developed by ECE, is set to follow in November.

“We are pleased to start the second ECE Fund with the acquisition of Stern-Center Lüdenscheid. It is the largest shopping center in the Sauerland region with a catchment area of 440,000 people. Therefore, it has tremendous potential for further development,” commented Volker Kraft, managing director ECE Real Estate Partners.

ECE’s maiden private equity real estate fund, the European Prime Shopping Centre Fund, is a €775 million 2010-vintage fund which focuses on value added retail assets in Western Europe, with a particular focus on Germany and Poland.