EQT-Exeter expands to Asia with debut fund

With a goal to replicate its platforms in the US and Europe, the firm seeks to raise more than $200m for its first Asia vehicle.

EQT-Exeter has launched its first real estate fund in Asia as part of plans to expand into the region, PERE can reveal. The vehicle will have a China logistics focus.

The Stockholm-headquartered firm registered the EQT Exeter China Logistics Fund in Luxembourg in June, according to filings seen by PERE. It is understood that the vehicle has a fundraising target of more than $200 million.

The fund will be led by portfolio manager James Hoeland, who joined Pennsylvania-based Exeter Property Group’s Philadelphia office in 2013. He was previously responsible for the firm’s US core industrial investment funds and served as acquisition officer across its value-add and core strategies. Prior to that, he was a summer associate with Blackstone’s Asia-Pacific real estate team based in China.

Setting up a pan-Asia-Pacific industrial real estate platform to supplement its efforts in North America and Europe was a goal after Exeter was bought by Swedish private equity firm EQT to become EQT-Exeter in January 2021. The former paid $1.8 billion to acquire 100 percent of Exeter, which was 40 percent owned by Boston-based private equity firm TA Associates.

Founded in 2006, Exeter manages a global real estate portfolio valued at more than $10 billion of logistics, industrial, life science, office and residential properties. Split regionally, $7.7 billion of the assets sit in the US and $2.5 billion in Europe. Logistics accounts for approximately 80 percent of the firm’s overall portfolio, making the sector a natural starting place for its Asia expansion.

Building on prior activities in Europe and the US, Exeter sought to scale its business into Asia-Pacific and Latin America where it aimed to establish foothold in logistics and industrials, according to a presentation. To that end, PERE understands the firm started building its regional team in China around two years ago.

Following the merger, EQT is expected to “bolster Exeter’s relationship with European and Asia-Pacific clients,” the firm has said previously. “The combination accelerates EQT AB’s strategic growth ambition within real estate, creating a scaled thematic investment platform with global reach,” according to a release.

The €67 billion private equity manager ventured into Asia as early as 2006 when it set up a Hong Kong office, according to its website.

EQT-Exeter declined to comment on the incoming China real estate vehicle.