Peakside completes the acquisition of AIB's Polish property fund management business (PL)

Peakside Capital, a specialist European real estate private equity firm, announces that it has completed the acquisition of Allied Irish Banks p.l.c's ('AIB') Polish property fund management subsidiary and its interests in two Polonia Property Funds. This represents both Peakside's first direct investment into Poland through its Peakside Real Estate Fund I ('PREF') and its first strategic acquisition of a fund and asset management business in a core market.

Under the terms of the transaction, Peakside has acquired AIB's Polish property fund management subsidiary, AIB PPM sp. z o.o. ('PPM'), as well as, in a 50:50 joint venture with Partners Group, AIB's 9.87% interest in Polonia Property Fund LP ('Polonia I') and 7.5% interest in Polonia Property Fund II Limited ('Polonia II').

PPM, to be renamed Peakside Polonia Management Sp. z.o.o., is one of the leading real estate fund management businesses in CEE and currently manages a strong and diversified portfolio of well performing assets in Poland and Hungary. It has successfully raised discretionary capital from international investors over the past nine years and has a strong track record with core and value-added investments, which will complement Peakside's existing opportunistic investment platform.

With this acquisition, Peakside has added over €600 million of gross assets under management ('AUM') to its business, bringing its total AUM to over €2 billion and has increased the company's headcount by a third. Since exchanging contracts with AIB on March 30, 2012, the company has worked closely with PPM to integrate the PPM team into Peakside.

To aid this process, Stefan Aumann, one of Peakside's founding partners, has joined the investment committee of the Polonia I & II funds. In addition, Miroslaw Januszko's appointment as Chief Investment Officer of Polonia I, a position he already holds with respect to Polonia II, leverages his experience gained from over 10 years working with the Polonia Property Funds and, more broadly, as a highly respected real estate professional in the local market.

Peakside and PPM are already exploring avenues to raise discretionary third party capital for core and value add investments in Poland from various international and domestic institutions and will also focus on securing a number of third party asset management mandates as the company seeks to build on PPM's existing track record in Poland and the CEE.

Stefan Aumann, founding partner of Peakside, commented: "We have long identified Poland as a market of strategic importance for Peakside, owing to the ongoing attractive market fundamentals and its expanding local capital base, and the completion of the acquisition of PPM is a significant step towards fulfilling our ambitious and long-term plans for growth in this vibrant core CEE market.

"We will immediately benefit from a strong and established platform at the heart of the key emerging EU economies, staffed by a highly experienced and respected team, and an interest in quality assets.

"As one of the few institutional investors with a dedicated on the ground capability in Poland, which is now augmented by Peakside's financial strength and depth of skills and resources, we can look forward both to creating an enhanced deal flow for our investors and building a compelling fund and asset management offer for an increasing number of third parties looking to invest in the region."

Miroslaw Januszko and Tomasz Damzyn, two board members of PPM, added: "Since the contracts were first exchanged, we have worked increasingly closely with Peakside to ensure that, upon completion, we had already made significant progress with our plans to strengthen and grow our activities.

"As a result of this close co-operation, we have already identified a number of exciting opportunities for our current and potential investor base and we are looking forward to growing the Peakside Polonia Management business into one of the pre-eminent fund and asset management platforms in Poland and selected other CEE markets."

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