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RMB halfway to Africa oppo fund target

The Sub-Saharan real estate investment manager has held a first close on just under $250 million.

RMB Westport, the Sub-Saharan real estate investment manager, has raised just under $250 million of its $450 million target for its second opportunistic fund.

The firm has held a first close on the RMB Westport Real Estate Development Fund II  after garnering commitments from eight offshore and South African institutions.

Investors in the fund include the government of Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, GIC Private, and Grosvenor Group, the London-based property investor, which both made their first forays into Africa with these commitments.

RMB Westport will develop a combination of shopping centers, office buildings and industrial assets, targeting primarily Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and the Ivory Coast for the fund.

“Despite a number of macro-economic headwinds in certain of the territories in which we operate, strong long-term growth prospects, coupled with favorable demographics, and the pleasing trends of increasing urbanization and consumer spending have all led to high demand for retail, industrial and commercial property space,” commented Simon Fifield, chief executive of RMB Westport.

The maiden RMB Westport Real Estate Development Fund attracted $256 million at final closing in 2012 but, including co-investment from its investors, the firm ultimately corralled more than $400 million for its investments.

The fund was aimed primarily at retail and office investments that required equity between $15 million and $40 million. Target returns are expected to be between 20 percent IRR and 25 percent IRR and a 2x equity multiple. The second offering is expected to follow a similar tack both in terms of investments and returns.