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Giant private equity firm to make move into real estate

Global private equity firm EQT Partners, which has raised €22bn of equity in recent years, is moving into European real estate investing.

EQT Partners is moving into European real estate investing for the first time and has hired a specialist team.

Swedish-headquartered EQT announced its move this week. It has recruited Edouard Fernandez and Rob Rackind from Wainbridge and Fredrik Elwing, formerly of Greenhill & Co and Credit Suisse.

Fernandez and Rackind have split from private equity real estate advisory firm Wainbridge after building the business into a leading UK value-add specialist firm.

Wainbridge’s investments and clients, which include Wainbridge Global Opportunities London, will continue to be managed out by the rest of the team.

EQT was set up 20 years ago, by Sweden’s AB and SEB, as a buy-out firm. It has since diversified into other asset classes, including infrastructure, credit and direct lending. In that time the company has raised about €22bn of equity across the platform, from over 300 global institutional and professional investors. EQT owns around 60 companies.

EQT is thought to have been impressed by the trio’s experience in real estate investment and development, structured finance and capital raising.

Rackind, Fernandez and Elwing will work on structuring an investment programme for EQT. Fernandez said: “EQT has been potentially interested in the real estate sector for some time. With us on board, EQT can scale up competence in this area and explore the investment opportunities.”

Rackind added: EQT is one of the most respected private equity firms in the world, with a vast network and strong resources. This is complimentary to the way we operated at Wainbridge and we hope to replicate this approach in how we execute our investment strategies.”

Lennart Blecher, deputy managing partner and head of EQT Infrastructure at EQT Partners, said: “We think real estate is an interesting asset class that goes well with our local presence in different European markets. Ed and Rob’s bricks and mortar background and the operational value add model of EQT should benefit our investors in real estate.”