HIG takes Italian NPL exposure to €100m – exclusive

The London-based real estate investment manager has made its third Italian NPL play acquiring loans backed by a mixture of residential and commercial real estate in Northern Italy.

HIG Realty Partners, the real estate arm of private equity investor HIG Capital, has acquired a portfolio of non-performing loans (NPL) in Italy.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed but the NPL deal is HIG’s third Italian acquisition and a source close to the matter said it takes the firm’s Italian exposure north of €100 million.

Back in June 2014, it kickstarted its Italian presence when it acquired an NPL portfolio from banking group Cassa di Risparmio di Ravenna for €40 million.

The NPLs are backed by a mixture of residential and commercial real estate, predominantly in the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Tuscany in Northern Italy.

HIG also acquired 16 predominantly grocery store-anchored retail assets in Norway. The transaction is the firm’s first in the country but its second in the Nordics following the purchase of a €107 million portfolio of Finnish supermarkets from AXA in December last year.

“The Nordics market represents an important part of our European strategy and we continue to actively look at opportunities in the small/midcap sector in the region,” said Riccardo Dallolio, managing director at HIG.

HIG has been expanding rapidly over the past two years and these transactions are the firm’s 22nd and 23rd real estate investments in Europe since the establishment of its real estate team 2013 and now manages a portfolio in excess of €1 billion.

The firm makes opportunistic investments in small to mid-sized real estate assets across all property types located in the US and Europe, with a specific focus on special situations. These acquisitions are capitalized from allocations made by HIG Capital and Bayside Capital, the global turnaround/distressed investment arm of HIG Capital.