Texas Teachers commits $300m to Apollo, Westbrook

The $110 billion pension fund has contributed $150 million each to Apollo’s US Real Estate Fund and Westbrook’s Fund IX.

The Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Texas has committed a total of $300 million to two commingled real estate investment funds. A spokeswoman for the $110 billion pension fund confirmed that TRS approved contributions of $150 million each to Apollo Global Management’s AGRE US Real Estate Fund and Westbrook Partners’ Westbrook Real Estate Fund IX. 

As PERE previously reported, Apollo recently held a final close on $713 million in equity on behalf of its AGRE fund. Although the exact amount of TRS’ investment was not known at the time, the pension was said to be a large investor in the fund through its $3 billion long-term strategic relationship with the New York-based private equity firm. 

The AGRE US Real Estate Fund focuses on investments in all of the main property types in major US metropolitan areas, ranging from the purchase of distressed debt on existing properties to the purchase of existing properties that need a new capital infusion to improve the overall performance of the asset. The fund has closed on several investments to date, including a joint venture with Driftwood Hospitality Management in 2011 and the purchase of the Novotel New York Times Square hotel in partnership with Chartres Lodging Group during the first quarter.

Meanwhile, PERE reported earlier this month that Westbrook had raised $1.5 billion of its $2 billion target for its global value-added real estate fund, Fund IX. Through Fund IX, the firm will seek to invest across all property types in major cities such as New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Tokyo. The firm primarily is looking at existing properties as opposed to development deals. 

Although representatives from Westbrook declined to comment, sources familiar with the matter have revealed that the capital that Westbrook has raised thus far for Fund IX has come from more than 40 US institutional investors. In addition to the contribution from TRS, Westbrook’s fund also has received commitments of $200 million apiece from the endowments of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Fund IX is expected to close this summer.