La Francaise Forum launches £500m UK mall fund

The French asset manager is aiming to assemble up to £500 million of assets for the core-plus vehicle, using specialist retail expert, Realm, to help add value.

La Française Forum Real Estate Partners (LFF REP) has launched a dedicated core-plus UK mall fund and has designs on assembling up to £500 million (€636 million; $816 million) of assets.

The French asset manager is teaming up with specialist UK retail property firm, Realm, for the effort.

LFF is structuring the vehicle with a three-year investment period and is aiming to buy malls of between £35 million and £100 million in lot size.

This will be LFF Real Estate Partners' second retail fund. It already co-manages the Pan European Retail Fund (PURetail), a joint venture with Aberdeen Asset Management, in continental Europe, with total equity comittments of €160 million from five institutional investors. PURetail invests in urban high street retail and has assets across Germany, France and Sweden.

Realm manages more than 2.5 million square feet of retail and leisure assets in the UK for mainly institutional investors.

David Rendall, chief executive of LFF Real Estate Partners, said: “Shopping centres require specialist management and our product is designed to provide investors with exposure to a segment of the market on which it is difficult to capitalize without these skills.”

The company added in its statement: “The Fund aims to capitalise on the changing face of retailing by applying proven specialist retail knowledge and skills to create value.”