EXCLUSIVE: AEW Europe finishes €820m equity raise

Largest equity raise ever for the Paris-based firm as it closes on €820 million of fresh commitments for its core Logistis platform.

AEW Europe has raised €820 million in fresh commitments for its core industrial and warehouse platform – the biggest equity raise the pan-European real estate investment manager has ever had. The Paris-based firm is expected to reveal news of the fundraising feat tomorrow, with chief executive officer Rob Wilkinson describing it as a “landmark equity raising” for both its Logistis platform and “for AEW Europe as a whole.”

Dutch institutions APG and PGGM are among the limited partners from Europe and Asia that agreed to commit equity to the platform, which was created at the end of 2011 when AEW Europe merged three Logistis funds into one with €513 million of commitments. AEW Europe said the five largest new investors committed in excess of €600 million in aggregate, and existing investors also increased their investment, committing a further €130 million. Overall, Logistis now has in excess of €1.3 billion of equity.

The writing was on the wall that the equity raise would be successful in March, when a first close on €600 million was announced against a €500 million target. The extra equity since then means it has taken commitments beyond a hard cap of €700 million. Existing investors gave approval in the interest of growing the platform even further.

Being a core property vehicle with a strategy to build a portfolio of Grade A logistics parks in prominent sites across Continental Europe, AEW Europe said the additional equity would be used to grow Logistis to more than €2 billion of assets and to further expand its European footprint. AEW Europe already has stated that it is expanding Logistis into Germany and the Benelux region, as well as Central Europe. In June, it announced the acquisition of a park in Bremen.

Remy Vertupier, fund manager, said the firm was working on a number of acquisition opportunities to deploy the capital. The current portfolio comprises 21 properties in France, Germany and Italy, as well as Spain and Belgium, with a total value of around €900 million.

Summing up the equity raise, Wilkinson said: “Having been one of the first investment managers to move into the logistics space in 1999, the fact that we have been able to attract such high-quality investors is a strong endorsement of the strategy we have been implementing since the creation of Logistis. This is a landmark equity raising for our platform and for AEW Europe as a whole.”