Pamfleet attracts $125m for debut Asia fund

Pamfleet Group, the Hong Kong and Singapore real estate investment business has attracted $125 million from institutional investors for the first closing of its debut private equity real estate fund. Hong Kong is likely to be the firm’s short-term investment destination.

Pamfleet Group has held a $125 million first closing for its debut commingled effort, Pamfleet Real Estate Fund, after attracting commitments from institutional investors from Europe, Asia and the US.

Market sources said the 16-strong company, formed in 2000 via a management buyout of former Hong Kong bank Jardine Flemming’s direct property fund management business, is aiming for a second closing in March 2011. Spearhead Capital Partners is understood to be advising the firm on its capital raising efforts.

Pamfleet’s capital closing is the latest example of comparatively favourable fundraising conditions in Asia at the moment. Other firms to have held significant closings in the region recently include Gaw Capital and Angelo, Gordon & Co. In a further sign of improving sentiment, Pamfleet is understood to have increased its total fundraising target from $330 million as originally planned, to $350 million.

The firm declined to comment on fundraising, but its chief executive officer Andrew Moore said that while Pamfleet had built up a track record making value-added investments in Hong Kong and Singapore’s office and retail markets over its ten-year existence, it would be more focussed on investing in offices in the former of the two markets in the short term.

He said: “It’s no secret that the office market in Hong Kong is grossly undersupplied whereas the demand remains sufficiently robust over the coming years for us to be able to execute our strategy of value-adding and improving the city’s older commercial stock.”

“Singapore is at a different point in the market cycle. The city has had a good year but there’s still a lot of office supply to come through the system. There will be opportunities in Singapore but the bulk will come from Hong Kong.”

PERE revealed Pamfleet’s plans for the Pamfleet Real Estate Fund this time last year. The fund is expected to achieve a net IRR of between 17 percent and 20 percent over seven years deploying leverage at a loan to value ratio of between 50 percent and 60 percent.

The plans for a debut fund come after building a record since 2003 of investing in $352 million of equity investments which generated IRRs of 87 percent and a 2.7 time equity multiple. The firm is one of a number of new entrants to the private equity real estate fund market in Asia over the last couple of years having invested on a deal sourcing, co-investment basis first.