Orion eyeing first close

The European private equity real estate firm that is out on the road with Orion European Real Estate Fund IV has reportedly raised around half of its €1.3bn target so far.

Orion Capital Managers, the European firm that hit the fundraising trail in March with its latest opportunistic vehicle, Orion European Real Estate Fund IV, is reportedly to hold a first close soon.

According to a report by UK magazine Property Week, the firm could announce its first close early next year with an equity haul of €650 million. Though the company was unavailable for comment, it is thought the firm has raised just short of the reported figure. Nevertheless, it would still constitute one of the biggest equity raises of 2012 for a European opportunity fund.

Patron Capital set the record by closing on €880 million for Patron Capital IV in September. Niam, the Nordic-focussed company raised €719 million for Niam Nordic V in May, and Perella Weinberg’s Real Estate Partners II had raised more than €600 million in a first close in October. Meanwhile, Europa Capital Partners recently held a first close on its vehicle, Europa Fund IVAREA Property Partners, Resolution Property, Meyer Bergman, Frogmore, and Tristan Capital are among other firms currently raising UK and European funds.

Orion is fronted by trio Van Stults, Bruce Bossom and Aref Lahham, and is understood to be targeting a similar capital haul to its predecessor vehicle, Orion European Real Estate Fund III, which attracted €1.28 billion in 2009.

It is not thought to be using a placement agent in its latest fundraising enterprise as it prefers to use its in-house investor relations and capital raising capabilities, although it did hire Credit Suisse Real Estate Private Fund Group for a ‘top-up’ assignment towards the latter stages of Fund III. Credit Suisse is rumored to be provided some ‘back office’ advisory work for Orion’s current fund.

The company operates offices in London, Madrid, Paris and Milan.