Henderson Global Investors, the London-based asset management firm, has raised a combined €270 million for funds targeting Germany and Austria.
For its Henderson German Logistics fund, the company has raised €90 million which will be managed by staff in Henderson’s Germany business as well as by fund partner, Palmira Capital Partners, a boutique real estate investment management business in Frankfurt and Munich.
In a statement on the fundraising, Henderson said investors were predominantly German insurance companies and pension funds together with an Austrian institutional investor.
The fund aims to offer up returns of 8.5 percent and keep gearing to 40 percent for acquisitions. The strategy is to chase existing “proven” assets in main logistics locations throughout Germany that have secured leases already in place. The fund is still open to investors and the ultimate aim is to raise enough equity to buy around €250 million of assets. The company is carrying out due diligence on a number of deals under exclusivity and hopes to complete on three or four transactions before the end of the year.
For the other fundraise, Henderson said it had so far rounded up €180 million for its second Austrian fund. Those equity commitments give the fund €360 million of firepower to throw at building up a diversified property portfolio in the country, when considering additional debt.
The vehicle, Warburg – Henderson Österreich Fonds Nr. 2, is a core to core-plus fund looking to providing limited partners with an annual return of 7 percent. The main area of attraction is in retail properties across Austria as well as offices specifically in Vienna.
Acquisitions made already for the fund include a retail warehouse in Vienna, a high street retail asset in the same city, a fully let retail warehouse in Fürstenfeld, a shopping centre in n Spittal a.d. Drau and another shopping centre in Linz. The company has also exchanged contracts on a further retail warehouse which is due to complete before year end. The ultimate ambition is for the fund to buy up to 15 assets.
Stefan Wundrak, a director of research at the firm, said: “Austria benefits from the strength of the German economy as well as higher growth rates in their main trading partners in Central and Eastern Europe.” He added the company liked the “stable and broad base” of retailers. In particular, Wundrak said the retail warehouse sector benefited from the improved quality of new and refurbished assets attracting new retailers, previously focused on shopping centres and high streets. “Pricing is attractive as only few international investors are active in Austria at all and many local investors and banks are hamstrung by exposure to risky investments dating from the boom years,” he explained.