Europa Capital, one of the best-known and longest established private equity real estate firms in Europe, has raised €600 million for the fourth in its series of pan-regional opportunistic funds. The fundraise is particularly notable as it is the first opportunity fund that Europa has closed since Rockefeller Group International (RGI) acquired a 75 percent stake in the firm back in October 2010.
Europa, which has been operating since 1995, held a final close recently after allowing a final investor to complete documentation, although marketing efforts officially ceased around December 2013. The firm first hit the fundraising trail with Fund IV in early 2012 with a €750 million target, before holding a first close of around €200 million in October of that year. Among those to have committed to the vehicle are the Virginia Retirement System, which reportedly pledged €75 million, and the San Diego City Employees Retirement System, which committed around €15 million, according to reports at the time.
Europa Fund IV is the follow-up to Fund III, which closed to investors in 2008 after having secured commitments of €731 million. That fund III completed €1 billion of deals in 2013 alone, including €630 million of disposals. Investments included the acquisition of a UK business park, as well as Paris’ Tour Vista, a warehouse in Prague and an office in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Since then, Europa has been putting equity to work from the new fund. It purchased a long leasehold interest in open-air shopping center Washington Square in West Cumbria for more than £30 million in conjunction with deal partner, Scoop AM, last month.
Fund IV, which is targeting a gross internal rate of return (IRR) of 25 percent and a net IRR of 20 percent, is focused on the repositioning of real estate into institutional-quality assets; loan restructurings where a new infusion of equity is required; acquiring prime assets from motivated sellers; and recapitalizations of assets or loans where the fund will act as the new borrower or sponsor.
As well as its opportunistic funds series, Europa manages specialist funds that include an emerging Europe fund, a UK mezzanine fund and a French real estate opportunity fund. The firm was founded by principals Noel Manns, Charles Graham, Peter Cluff, Robert Martin and Christopher Curtis.