Three-way joint venture to target Ukraine high streets

The Marbleton Property Fund, Alfa Bank Ukraine and Griffin Investment Partners have formed a joint venture to build up a portfolio of high yielding property in Ukraine’s secondary cities.

Strong demand from local and international retailers has led to a trio of investors setting up a platform to invest in high street retail property in the Ukraine.

The Marbleton Property Fund, which is a $321 million (€218 million) fund co-managed by JER Partners and Alfa Capital Partners, is teaming up with Alfa Bank Ukraine and Griffin Investment Partners for the Ukraine programme.

The strategy is to build up a portfolio of high yielding assets and add additional value through active asset management such as repositioning, refurbishment and re-tenanting.

Each JV partner has committed €10 million to the vehicle, which expects to make the first acquisition in the first quarter of 2008.

While US investor JER and Alfa may be well known already in Russia and the wider region, Griffin is arguably less well known. The firm has been active in Poland for the past 15 years and is looking to expand into other central and eastern European markets. 

Marcin Halicki, Griffin’s managing partner, said: “I have a clear vision of realizing even higher returns from taking advantage of the opportunities in the Central and Eastern markets.”

Malcolm Le May, president of JER in Europe, said Griffin had a proven business model and that Alfa Bank Ukraine had a local network of contacts to help target the property market.

Richard Sobel, chief executive officer of Alfa Capital Partners, said: “We see strong demand by retailers who are targeting the dynamic consumers throughout Ukraine.”