RREEF completes £55m of UK retail buys

Purchases of retail properties in Liverpool and Cardiff on behalf of the Deutsche Bank unit’s German institutional investors demonstrate activity in spite of ongoing strategic review.

RREEF Real Estate, the investment management business of Deutsche Bank, has made two retail acquisitions in the UK on behalf of two unnamed German institutional investors for a total of £55.6 million (€70.4 million; $87.6 million).

The business, which is currently part of a second strategic review by the German investment bank, said this week it had acquired retail properties in Liverpool and Cardiff for £29.75 million and £25.8 million respectively.

The property in Liverpool, at 9-15 Church Street, comprises approximately 66,500 square feet while the Cardiff property at 80/88 Queen Street, comprises 95,833 square feet.

James Petit, head of UK and Ireland at RREEF said the firm was beginning to find value in “major retailing centres in the UK”.

“The quality of these properties makes them strong investments for our German clients who are looking for stable assets with a long term income stream,” he added.

RREEF, which held $55.7 billion in assets under management as of 31 March, said it has acquired £1.3 billion of property across the UK in the last 12 months on behalf of its clients.

In spite of its recently collapsed sale to New York-based Guggenheim Partners, RREEF has been actively announcing transactions. At the end of July, for instance, the firm said it had invested $290 million in a New York retail property, also on behalf of German institutional investors – which make up a significant proportion of its capital providers.

Nonetheless, reports are surfacing of investors becoming increasingly concerned about a lack of visible direction for the business. The Wall Street Journal published a report yesterday to that effect stating that the uncertainty had led to redemptions by some investors in certain of its open-ended fund products and was preventing repeat investments by others.

Deutsche Bank is near completing a company-wide strategic review which will include RREEF but for the platform, it will be the second review in less than 12 months it has had to endure. The first, initially focused on Deutsche Bank Asset Management, led to a bid for parts of that business from Guggenheim before talks centred solely around RREEF. In late June, those talks were cancelled after the two parties failed to agree terms.