Carlyle has restarted its European real estate business following a two-year hiatus with last month’s $90 million acquisition of a 1.8 million-square-foot French logistics portfolio from global sector giant Prologis.
The deal was the Washington, DC-based private equity firm’s first major purchase in Europe since hiring two senior real estate executives, head of European real estate Peter Stoll (pictured) and managing director and acquisitions specialist Marc-Antoine Bouyer. Joining from Blackstone in 2015 and 2016, respectively, the pair were brought in to revive Carlyle’s European real estate business.
Carlyle has been a net seller globally since 2011, according to Real Capital Analytics. During that period, the firm significantly reduced its European holdings, offloading around $2 billion of its European assets last year alone. The data also showed that the firm had not made any European purchases since the hire of Stoll and Bouyer.
“The timing of a 2015 hire for a new managing director in Europe might explain the timing of some of its recent acquisitions. Carlyle had been acquiring assets through 2013 and early 2014, then nothing until January of this year,” said Jim Costello, senior vice-president at RCA.
Carlyle used capital for the Prologis transaction from Carlyle Europe Realty Gallia, a special purpose vehicle created specifically for the deal. Speaking at the time, Stoll said the firm was aiming to create a high-yielding French logistics platform. He added that it would be targeting further logistics assets in the UK and Europe as well as looking at other sectors that were driven by demographic trends.