ALTERNATIVES: LimeTree’s car parks bet

LimeTree Capital Partners, a Hong Kong-based private equity real estate firm launched by former Deutsche Asset Management Asia chief executive James Goulding, has acquired an 80 percent stake in Sunsea Parking Management, one of the largest car park managers in China managing 100,000 parking bays, for $42 million.

The specialist firm that focuses on “under-researched asset classes in Asian property” has made the investment via its $340 million China Car Parking Investment Fund (CCPIF), the firm’s first car park fund. CCPIF, launched in 2013, was closed above its $325 million hard cap in July last year.

LimeTree Capital manages the car park investments made via the fund through a wholly-owned subsidiary called We Park.

Car parks remain an underinvested asset class in China despite the supply-demand mismatch. The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s central planning agency, has estimated that 50 million new parking bays would need to be built at a total investment of RMB 3,000 billion (€438.3 billion; $470 billion) to meet the current shortage in the sector.