UK firm Henley enters US market

The Surrey-based private equity real estate firm has completed its first ever deal in the US, a $100 million hotel and apartment development play.

Henley Investments, a Surrey-based private equity real estate company, has made its first foray into the US real estate market by teaming-up with WaterWalk Hotel & Apartments to construct and open five WaterWalk franchises across Florida, North Carolina and New York.

The deal, which is valued at around $100 million, is the UK firm’s first transatlantic deal but follows July’s light industrial acquisitions secured in The Netherlands and Germany, which were the company’s first international acquisitions.

A hybrid model of hotel and apartment, WaterWalk combines all of the traditional hotel services in a gated, purpose-built community. Each WaterWalk offers a range of upscale amenities and features including housekeeping, fitness memberships, a communal bicycle program and local transportation.

“The deal with WaterWalk represents another major milestone for Henley, as we further our international presence and enter the US market,” commented Ian Rickwood, chief executive of Henley. “Our intention is that we will add more units to these first five and engage in additional investment and development activity in the US.”

Established in 2006, Henley focuses on development, investment and asset management in the commercial, residential, healthcare and real estate debt markets. Henley currently has around £600 million (€818 million; $920 million) of assets under management.

The firm deploys capital from both institutional and syndicated investors on a deal-by-deal basis and has so far completed 45 investments, exiting 14 of these with an average performance of 55.2 percent IRR.