Grosvenor targets fund platform acquisition

The UK property company owned by the Duke of Westminster hopes to grow its funds business through corporate acquisitions. The strategy was part of a three pronged plan revealed by Grosvenor as it posted its year end results.

London based Grosvenor is planning to grow its real estate funds exposure through the purchase of “complimentary fund management platforms”.

The property company of the Duke of Westminster, which has £12.6 billion (€14.3 billion; $18.7 billion) of assets under management across 14 funds, highlighted its plans to grow its fund management arm as part of a three pronged strategy, as it released its year end results for 2008.

The company, led by group chief executive Mark Preston, will also seek to grow its business in Asia, where it has recently launched a $600 million China retail fund, and will invest in developing its central London sites.

Preston said that he would consider the acquisition of complementary fund management platforms. He told the Financial Times he regarded the opportunity to buy such vehicles cheaply as “once in a generation”.

In its results, Grosvenor reported a pre-tax loss of £593.9 million in 2008 compared with a profit of £542 million in the previous year.

In Asia, Grosvenor launched a China retail fund in October, targeting $600 million of equity. It was planning to hold a close of up to $150 million by the end of this quarter.