Cordea Savills, the property fund manager, has secured a cornerstone European institutional investor to launch Italian Opportunities No.1. The venture will target 20% per annum net returns and is suitable for institutional and sophisticated private investors. The first seed asset is already under offer. The initial close is scheduled for the end of July, with the final close due end-September 2006.
Italian Opportunities No.1 will be a close-ended Luxembourg SOPARFI (Société de Participation Financière) with appropriate tax efficient feeder vehicles and aims to raise up to €200 million equity in order to exploit the specific single asset and portfolio opportunities identified by the Cordea Savills investment team based in Milan. Cordea Savills' Country Head is Gerardo Solaro del Borgo, who was responsible for the launch of the first ever Italian real estate fund while at Deutsche Bank Fondimobiliare. The Head of European Investment is Dominic White. Between them they have over 25 years experience in international and Italian real estate across all property types and sectors.
Although Italy is one of the largest European economies, Cordea Savills believes the real estate market has more in common with the emerging economies further east. With a lack of transparency creating the potential for mis-pricing, a prevalence of off-market transactions and high levels of owner-occupation creating good deal flow. Investment themes will focus on repackaging portfolios that have slipped under the radar of the larger opportunity funds for immediate trading, or repositioning single assets and portfolios for sale to the growing investor market.
The Cordea Savills team sees approximately €1.5 billion in potential transactions a year, and has been involved1 in over €9 billion of transactions since 2000, of which around half have been opportunistic. The Cordea Savills team in Italy combines strong local market connections with the international and asset management experience to unlock assets and produce opportunistic returns.
Cordea Savills Chief Executive Officer Justin O'Connor commented: "The sheer scale and affluence of Italy means that it deserves more attention from investors. Accessing suitable stock requires an experienced team of hands-on investment specialists that are able to access a variety of deal flows, execute them efficiently and manage the properties to extract the maximum returns. The key to success is understanding the market."
Source: Cordea Savills