ÆRIUM, a pan-European real estate fund management group, announced the launch of ÆRIUM Vendome I Fund to invest in prime retail real estate opportunities in France. ÆRIUM Vendome I falls under the umbrella fund ÆRIUM Special Opportunities Fund, a Luxembourg-regulated FCP. ÆRIUM is aiming to raise equity of 50 - 60 million for this vehicle which, with gearing, will provide it with circa 100 - 120 million to invest in retail investments.
The Fund's investment strategy focuses on retail properties in and around Paris and on high-street and edge-of-town units in the main regional centers with large catchment zones and a successful retailing history. ÆRIUM has a reputation for investing in quality assets backed by strong tenant covenants and the new fund will continue this theme in its investments.
ÆRIUM has a strong track record in France with 22 years' experience and has a substantial local presence offering both asset and property management expertise. The Paris team currently manages over 1.4 billion of assets and 600 tenant relationships across its retail and office portfolio. These tenant relationships together with a strong independent broker network allow ÆRIUM to source a high proportion of off-market transactions.
ÆRIUM Vendome I is the first of a series of small niche funds under the 'Special Opportunities' banner launched to capitalize on immediate opportunities in the market place. Further funds to be launched will include a UK trophy asset fund and a German Retail fund which will take some refurbishment and leasing risk. By launching small funds ÆRIUM aims to invest quickly and to work closely with investors to ensure that the strategy for each vehicle always reflects current market conditions.
Commenting on the launch of the Fund, Daniel Bendavid, Chief Investment Officer of ÆRIUM France, stated: "We are seeing continued appetite from investors to acquire French retail real estate. We believe this is the right time to invest in this asset class and we are extremely confident that our team of real estate professionals in Paris will be able to deploy the capital quickly and generate the target returns for our investors."