LA-based firm to jumpstart $100m New Zealand fund

Jumpstart Capital Partners, a Los Angeles based real estate investor, is hoping to raise $100m for an opportunity fund aiming to buy from distressed sellers in New Zealand. Jumpstart’s CEO Jason Neal has projected IRRs greater than 40%.

Jumpstart Capital Partners, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Los Angeles, is planning to attract $100 million of equity for a New Zealand-focused opportunity fund.

In an announcement made today, the firm said it wanted to “capitalize on distressed and undervalued real estate assets” in the country.

The fund, named Jumpstart Capital Asset Management, plans to buy direct commercial and residential real estate, real estate-related assets and land development projects. According to its announcement, the firm has secured a seed investment which comprises a majority stake in a resort development.

Jason Neal, chief executive officer at Jumpstart Capital, said investments made by the fund could yield an internal rate of return of more than 40 percent.

“Fund managers in the United States and Europe are scrambling in a competitive environment to raise capital for domestic real estate transactions that may not be profitable for years because of wider economic and political implications,” said Neal.

“Smart money is now being invested in countries that offer resilient stable economies, attractive foreign investment and tax policies, and can be classed as safe havens. New Zealand is one of the few countries that fit this profile”

According to data from the Economist Intelligence Unit, New Zealand, a country of 4.3 million people run by, what it regards as a stable government, has seen its gross domestic product (GDP) grow by 2.4 percent from 2004-2008. But this is expected to contract by 2.6 percent this year before growing by just 0.7 percent in 2010.