Hines Italian business spun out

The former country head of Hines in Italy has acquired the platform from the Houston-based real estate powerhouse, renamed the business COIMA SGR and has plotted the launch of a debut investment vehicle.

The head of Houston-based developer-cum-fund manager Hines in Italy has spun out the firm’s platform in the country to form a new business.

The former country head of Hines in Italy, Manfredi Catella, has acquired a majority stake in the business for an undisclosed sum and renamed it COIMA SGR.

Catella already owned 28.87 percent of the platform.

Going forward, it will be Hines which controls a minority stake although it will also retain a board position at the new company. Micheli e Associati, another Italian company, will own 8 percent and equity participation is also planned to be opened to management at a future stage.

COIMA SGR will work alongside Italian property company COIMA, which was founded by Catella’s family in 1974 and employs over 100 professionals.

COIMA SGR today manages 13 real estate funds, as well as mandates on behalf of over 40 domestic and international institutional investors, including the Porta Nuova property funds – whose investor is the sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – and has combined assets under management of more than €5 billion.

“The decision to invest permanently in Italy was an important transaction for our family, our partners, our management, as well as the whole team. [COIMA SGR] is aimed at strengthening a major national operator,” said Catella, who will take on the role of chief executive for COIMA SGR.

“Our planned platform can act as a partner for institutional investors and domestic operators, as well as a 'gateway' to the Italian market for international investors.”

As part of a “three-year plan” COIMA SGR plans on developing internal lines of business in: investments in income-producing property, investments in property development, as well as property asset management.

To invest in income-producing properties, COIMA SGR plans to list a real estate investment company on the Italian Stock Exchange. QIA will act as the first cornerstone investor of the initiative.