Savills Investment Management (“Savills IM”), the international real estate investment manager, has today launched the Mercury Fund (the ‘Fund’) which it will manage on behalf of CONAD, the largest consortium of independent retailers in Italy, and Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni, a leading Italian insurance company.
The Fund is structured to allow three CONAD cooperatives to sell and lease back retail properties worth a combined €300m across central and northern Italy on long-term leases. This will enable CONAD to focus on its core retail activities in Italy, accelerating the growth that has characterized its strategy in recent years.
The Fund consists of three sub-funds (divided as per the assets of the three co-operatives), each managed by Savills IM SGR. The Fund meets the investment objectives of Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni in an era of low interest rates, ensuring stable dividends over a long term horizon. Each of the three CONAD co-operatives possess a 49% stake in each of their sub-funds, with Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni holding the remaining share of 51%.
A preliminary loan of €170m has been granted to the Fund by the two leading Italian banking groups, Banca IMI (Gruppo Intesa) and Unicredit.