Europa hires Goldman Sachs exec, buys £70m mall

Europa Capital boosts its team by hiring Tim Neslen, formerly of Goldman Sachs’ Real Estate Principal Investment Area (REPIA). Meanwhile the firm has bought a £70m UK shopping centre through its Europe Fund III, which closed on €600m in June 2008.

London-based Europa Capital has hired former Goldman Sachs investment professional Tim Neslen as a senior associate to focus on deals in southern Europe.

Neslen previously worked for Goldman Sachs Real Estate Principal Investment Area and during his time with the firm participated in more than €6.1 billion of transactions across Europe.

Neslen joined Goldman Sachs in 2004. He started at the investment bank in its global investment research team covering utility and energy companies before joining REPIA.

The firm announced the hire in the same week it revealed it had completed its second shopping centre purchase in a month after buying the Fremlin Walk centre in Maidstone, southeast England, from Land Securities for £70 million (€82 million; $114 million).

The Europe focused fund manager completed the acquisition of the 350,000-square-foot centre at a yield of approximately 8.75 percent on behalf of its €600 million Europe Fund III and in partnership with recently established asset manager SCOOP AM. The deal was the first in the UK for the fund which closed in June last year on €600 million.

Last month, Europa Capital, which is led by principals Noel Manns, Charles Graham and Peter Cliff, purchased the Forum Steglitz shopping centre in Berlin from Land Securities’ rival London-listed property company Hammerson for the same fund.

The Europa Fund III fund targets western and central Europe. Europa Capital is also currently deploying capital from its Emerging Europe Fund which targets investments in eastern Europe.

JP Morgan analyst Harm Meijer said the sale to Europa Capital demonstrated a growing investor appetite among European investors for well-leased assets.

He said: “Land Securities has undertaken over £150m worth of retail sales in the first quarter 2009/10, demonstrating the growing investor interest in well let assets.”

Previous reports have suggested that Land Securities is receiving up to five bids for every building for sale, compare with one bid for the same buildings last year.

Tenants at Fremlin Walk include fashion retailer House of Frasier.