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M7 starts CEE expansion

The London-based industrial property firm is opening offices in Prague, Budapest and Bucharest and has appointed a regional head.

M7 Real Estate, the London-based investment manager, has opened an office in the Czech Republic capital of Prague as it starts an expansion into Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

The firm, best known as the operating partner in joint ventures with firms such as Starwood Capital Group and Oaktree Capital Management, has also appointed Paul Betts as joint managing director for CEE.

Betts joins M7 from JLL where he spent three years, most recently as head of logistics for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

He will work alongside Amanda Spring, who has been working in the firm’s Warsaw office, and is expected to open outposts in Budapest and Bucharest as the firm looks to grow assets under management in the region.

“We are seeing an increasing number of opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe, both in relation to direct investments and non-performing loans,” said Richard Croft, M7 Real Estate’s chief executive.

“With the new Prague office and the planned openings in Bucharest and Budapest, M7 will have significantly stronger on-the-ground expertise to find and capture these opportunities, enabling us to create the pre-eminent investment and asset management platform in the region.”

Last week, the firm joined forces with Mount Street Loan Solutions to form a joint venture to act as a co-investor and operating partner in European non-performing loan deals.

The new tie-up came only a week after M7 raised over €40 million of equity and loan note issuance for its second Continental European real estate fund – M7 European Real Estate Investment Partners II.

Launched in 2009, M7 specializes in multi-let light industrial properties and manages a portfolio of over 300 assets spread over a total of 20.45 million square feet.