Schroders’ UK value-added fund closes on £160m

Columbus Capital Management, the value-added fund manager of London-based Schroders’ real estate investment and asset management business, has already deployed half the total equity raised.

Columbus Capital Management, part of London-based Schroders’ real estate investment and asset management business, has held a final closing for its Columbus UK Real Estate Fund.

Columbus has raised £160 million (€187 million; $248 million) for the value-added fund. The vehicle is being used to pursue investments across the UK that sit “just outside” of the “current definition of prime” across the UK, the firm has said previously.

In a statement on the fundraising, Columbus said it had raised the capital for the final closing from two large global investors and that a UK corporate pension fund had committed to a co-investment as well.

“This equity, together with senior debt, has given the fund up to £320 million to invest,” the firm said.

To date the Columbus UK Real Estate Fund has been half deployed into various portfolios including a industrial portfolio, a sale and leaseback portfolio as well as three Central London offices, two shopping centres, a retail park, a leisure scheme, nine leisure centres and ten London industrial estates.

The firm added that the final closing also coincided with another Central London office investment. In a joint venture investment with the British Airways Pension Fund, it has acquired the long leasehold interest in Lombard House, 33 Gracechurch Street, in the City of London. Bought from Stockland, the purchase of the 105,000 square foot building marks the fourth joint transaction by Columbus and the pension fund.

Joe Froud, managing partner of Columbus Capital Management, said:”We are very pleased to have been able to demonstrate our ability to successfully deploy capital in such a diverse range of assets, all of which have the potential to be significantly improved through careful capital investment and focussed asset management.”

“This track record has been crucial in attracting new equity and we have every belief that this latest acquisition will provide similar value enhancement opportunities.”

Greenhill & Co acted as sole placement agent for Columbus on the equity raise for the fund.