Patron Capital exits French REIT

The London-based firm has sold its €277m stake in Vectrane, the property company it brought to the French market a little over one year ago.

Patron Capital, the Europe-focused private equity real estate firm, has sold its 76 percent stake in Vectrane, which it jointly held with investment partners Bertrand Schwab and Patrick Sabban.

The partners have sold their stake at €23.65 a share, representing a 20 percent premium to the company’s net asset value at December 31, 2006, the firm said in a statement. The stake was valued at €277 million ($360 million).

Patron added that the deal represented one of the best performing investments within Patron Capital Partners.

The move comes the same week that Patron announced the close of its third fund with total commitments of €895 million, almost three times the size of its previous fund.

The Vectrane stake has been sold to Eurosic, also a SIIC, France’s version of a REIT.

Vectrane has an existing portfolio of €601 million of property assets, comprising five office buildings and three leisure properties.

Keith Breslauer, founder and managing director of Patron said in a statement: “Following Patron’s acquisition in July 2005, over the last 20 months, Patron has assisted in setting up the current platform, been instrumental in the IPO process and supported the acquisition plan. Whilst the disposal of Patron’s interest was not anticipated in this timeframe, the acquisition by Eurosic provides strong institutional investor support and better suits and strengthens Vectrane’s growth potential.”

Patron has launched three funds to date. Patron Capital Captive Fund invested all its equity, €93 million, in one deal and sold out for €226 million. Fund I invested €98 million in 13 deals and has thus far returned €151 million to investors. Fund II, the largest out of the three funds, raised €329 million and has invested €233 million in 13 deals.

The firm is headquartered in London, and has associate offices in Barcelona, Milan and Warsaw.