AXA Real Estate raises a further €147.5 million for development venture (EU)

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, the leading real estate manager in Europe and second globally with €39 billion of assets under management as of September 2010, announces the second close of its pan-European development venture, Development Venture III, having raised an additional €147.5 million of equity.

The new investment brings the total amount of equity raised to date to €377.5 million, against a final target of €600 million equity and means that the Venture has now up to €1.3 billion of development capacity after leverage and reinvestment of proceeds. Commitments have been secured from a number of pension funds, insurance companies and third party funds from European countries including UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland and France.

The Venture invests opportunistically in green and brown field sites, as well as existing assets which require extensive redevelopment. Following the second closing, the Venture has committed most of its equity through a number of transactions in London and Paris. Acquisitions include a 20,000-m² office building project in the City of London, and a development site in the Paris region (Western Business District) which has planning permission for a 40,000-m² office complex and is already 78% prelet. Both developments are advised by AXA Real Estate's dedicated local development teams and are due for completion in 2013.

Each of the Venture's projects is advised at all stages through the entire development process by AXA Real Estate's dedicated local teams, from sourcing to deal execution. Specialist teams across Europe range from architects to engineers, whose track record has been established through the delivery of over 250 projects with a combined value in excess of €7 billion over the last 10 years.

Whilst the Venture will primarily continue to target acquisitions in Paris and London, it will also consider opportunities in other major European capital cities.

Dennis Lopez, AXA Real Estate's Global Chief Investment Officer, commented: "The support from investors for Development Venture III continues our strong fundraising progress so far this year, which has included the €350 million first close of our CRE1 debt fund. This new equity allows investors to benefit from the experience of our in-house development team, who have an established track record of creating value through our previous development ventures."

Denis Morel, Senior Fund Manager of Development Venture III, added: "We have secured a number of compelling development opportunities for the Venture to date. Whilst our in-house specialist team will continue to progress each of these projects, we remain active in evaluating future opportunities for the Venture, where we believe we can deliver high quality assets into markets where there is an ongoing supply / demand imbalance and therefore expect to see strong occupier demand."

Antoine Jozan, AXA Real Estate's Global Head of Investor Relations & Marketing, said: "We continue to see strong interest in the Venture from a number of potential investors across the globe, notably overseas, with several at advanced stages of due diligence. We therefore expect to announce our third and final closing of the Venture in April."

Source: FD

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