FIDAC, the investment management subsidiary of New York-based REIT Annaly Capital Management, has acquired the entire US and Europe management team of real estate investment firm Northcliffe Asset Management, according to a spokesperson for FIDAC.
Northcliffe, which has offices in New York and London, was formed last year by four former senior directors at New York-based sale-leaseback specialist WP Carey. According to its website, Northcliffe specialises in sale-leaseback transactions, funding build-to-suit developments and acquiring existing net-leased assets in the US and Europe.
Northcliffe co-founder Alistair Calvert is now head of European equity real estate for FIDAC. In a statement, Calvert said that FIDAC's acquisition of Northcliffe “allows FIDAC to further broaden its investment product range, both into direct real estate investment as well as into Europe.” He added that, in turn, the “relationship with the Annaly family of companies should allow us to grow into a leading player in both the sale-leaseback and commercial debt sectors in Europe.”
According to FIDAC, the European sale-leaseback market has been growing rapidly in the last couple of years, partly driven by illiquidity in the corporate credit markets. Due to the underdeveloped nature of the European sale-leaseback market, FIDAC predicts this expansion to continue gathering steam, as Europe – at $4 trillion – has twice the level of owner-occupied commercial property as the US. In addition, there is a substantial continuing opportunity for real estate debt investments in Europe.
Gordon DuGan, former chief executive officer of WP Carey and now global head of equity commercial real estate investments for FIDAC, said this acquisition will provide his Northcliffe team “with a unique opportunity to capture a significant share of the net-lease market in both Europe and the US.” He added that his team “also will assist in the expansion of FIDAC’s real estate debt business.”