Internos and Somerston acquire 27.5% in DREF

The London-based fund manager and the Jersey-based family office have together taken a minority position in the German real estate investment manager.

London-based fund manager Internos Global Investors and Jersey-based family office Somerston Group have together acquired a 27.5 percent stake in Deutsche Real Estate Funds Advisor (DREF), a real estate investment manager specializing in the German student accommodation market.

Andrew Thornton, chief executive of Internos, will join DREF’s advisory board and Shaun Robinson, chief executive of Somerston Capital, investment advisor and asset manager to the Somerston Group, will join DREF’s management board. UK-based property management company Bauer Group remains the majority shareholder in DREF.

“This investment is in line with our strategy of investing in buildings where populations rest their heads, as this strategy should provide institutions with maximum comfort about future economic volatility,” Thornton commented. “There is still a significant opportunity to increase institutional investment into student housing in Germany and we very much see this as a long-term strategic shift that we would like to exploit.”

Back in January, Internos joined forces with ‘community interest’ company, Catalyst for Homes (C4H), to invest in residential property in the UK. The firm, founded by sector veterans Thornton and Jos Short, set itself the target of more UK residential acquisitions in 2015 in an announcement on its future strategy at the start of the year. The firm also said it would complete up to €750 million of investments during the year across a range of strategies and markets in Europe.