Qualitas, the Australian real estate investment management firm, has embarked on a fundraising campaign for its first opportunity fund, Qualitas Opportunity Fund.
The Melbourne-based firm is aiming to raise A$200 million (€131 million; $145 million) in equity for the vehicle and has already held a first closing for it, raising capital from both offshore and domestic institutional and high-net-worth investors. According to the Australian press, the fund has a hard cap of A$300 million.
Qualitas declined to comment on the raising, but the firm told PERE it has already identified a pipeline of deals with approximately A$100 million in value. The Sydney-headquartered firm will be deploying the capital in equity and mezzanine debt deals in commercial, retail and residential projects in the mid-market segment across Australia. Expected returns from the investments are in the mid-teens.
“Australian core real estate has reverted to the prices and momentum seen in the pre-GFC period, and is heavily dominated by large-scale institutional and public capital. However, those sources have yet to turn their attention to the value-add and development spaces, and this is where we see significant opportunity for value creation by private capital investing,” said Andrew Schwartz, group managing director and chief investment officer at Qualitas.
“We have already proven our model with a number of successful debt funds that continue to attract investors. As a result, the new fund has attracted strong interest.”
The fund is expected to be the first of a series of opportunistic funds managed by Qualitas, which historically has focused on its series of real estate debt funds. It is currently plotting the third fund in that series, Qualitas Real Estate Private Debt Fund III.
Since its founding in 2008, the firm has invested in or financed over A$2.6 billion of real estate assets.