Pensus creates joint venture with Australian property funds manager (UK/AU)

European real estate investment and advisory company Pensus LLP announces the creation of a joint venture with Orchard Funds Management, the specialist Australian property funds management group. The combined entity, Pensus Funds Management LLP, will be headquartered in London and provides Orchard with its first entry into the European property market.

Established in June 2006, Pensus brings together the specialist skills of the four founders, Hugh Elrington, Martin Betts, Nick Bywater and Alan Froggatt, who have extensive European real estate origination and valuation experience. Over the past 12 months, Pensus has been actively seeking core-plus and opportunistic investments across a number of European markets, with a particular focus on France, Germany, Holland and Belgium, completing on a number of transactions to date.

Orchard Funds Management is one of Australia's leading real estate funds managers with over AUS$3.7 billion in funds under management, representing over 40 unlisted funds. The joint venture with Pensus is the first time the Company has invested in markets outside of Australia.

Moving forward, Pensus Funds Management will seek to grow a property funds management business that aims to provide investors with market leading returns. Both Australian and International equity will be sourced to establish and grow a European Diversified Property Fund which will source assets across all sectors; including office, industrial and retail.

The initial strategy will be to focus on the core markets of Western Europe with a view to building a diversified portfolio of approximately €2.5 billion over the next 5 years.

Commenting on the joint venture, Orchard Funds Management CEO Mr David Hinde said: "The Pensus team has extensive experience of operating in local European real estate markets and provides us with a strong track record in sourcing deals. We expect this, combined with our expertise in raising equity for funds for property investment in the domestic Australian market, will deliver a highly successful partnership.

"With property yields continuing to tighten in the Australian market, the time is right for Orchard to look at additional investment opportunities."

Hugh Elrington, a founding partner of Pensus, added: "The joint venture with Orchard will give us greater access to capital and management capabilities which will support us in becoming a major player in the European property funds management market. Pensus Funds Management will draw on the market knowledge, experience and success of both Orchard and Pensus to create exciting opportunities for investors."

Source: FD

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