Valad Europe plots €1bn investment spree in 2014

 The European real estate fund manager announced today it has a €1 billion kitty for making investments in Europe during 2014.  

Valad Europe, the Europe-focused real estate investment management business, announced today it has €1 billion for making investments in Europe this year.

The firm’s chief investment officer David Kirkby said the firm was experiencing accelerating growth, particularly with investors looking for bespoke value-added investing strategies.

“We have over €1 billion to invest in various markets where we see opportunities in Europe,” he said. “The European real estate market is demonstrating attractive value qualities relative to other global real estate markets and we expect portfolio and single asset acquisitions activity to continue strongly in 2014 as we seek to invest early in the European real estate cycle.”

In addition to corralling capital via bespoke mandates, it has collected €180 million in a first closing for its Valad European Diversified Fund for investments in the UK and Germany.

The firm, which manages €4 billion of commercial investment and development assets in total across Europe for funds and separate accounts, added €1.6 billion of new assets to its books over 18 months, it said in the announcement. Included in that figure were the takeovers of the Gemini and the Mansford and Edeka retail CMBS portfolios and a portfolio of Dutch offices – all parts of various bank workouts.

Kirkby commented: “Bank workouts have been a feature of the commercial real estate market since the financial crisis. As such, working to ensure maximum return of value on behalf of the lenders and receivers has been a core part of our activity. In the past year, we traded approximately €600 million in assets out of our bank workout and fund portfolios.”

He also referenced how the Valad Europe team had expanded last year with the hires of Howard Barnes as head of Spain and Karl Delattre as head of France as well as Thierry Leleu as head of funds management. “Additions to our senior team reflect our ambitions to continue diversifying our business, in particular in Spain where we have opened a new office in Madrid and in France where Karl has a remit to grow the business and diversify into other asset classes such as office and retail. We have also appointed Transaction Managers in several countries to further strengthen our local teams on the ground,” Kirkby added.