Brookfield raises £1 billion European property war chest

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 29 October 2020

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UK: Brookfield has raised £1 billion (€1.14 billion) for its latest property fund, which will buy assets across Europe’s biggest markets.

The first closing of the open-ended Brookfield European Real Estate Partnership saw it exceed its equity target of €1 billion.

The fund will invest in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, targeting rented residential, logistics, offices and alternative residential sectors. Its first acquisition is a €50 million office building in Paris.

The fund is the first time Brookfield has set up a specific vehicle for core-plus investment in Europe, where it has previously invested through its opportunity funds or listed vehicles.

Brookfield head of Europe Zach Vaughan said the fund will buy assets and hold them for longer than would be typical for its opportunity funds, perhaps for five to seven years, but still look to improve their value by raising rents. The fund will remain closed to new investments until the first round of equity has been spent.

Vaughan said Brookfield is confident about the long-term prospects for London property despite the coronavirus pandemic: “Pricing really depends on the sector and the asset. If you have a very core asset in London, there is still a market for it. Our belief for a long time is that London has been very attractive on a relative basis [to other large cities] and we’ve made a big push to acquire more in London relative to other markets, and we still think that’s the case. I think increasingly we’re going to see that once people can travel and see assets and get comfortable with them, London is a market where people will want to own. We’ve adjusted some of our underwriting on lease rates and velocity near term, but certainly long term we’re very bullish on London.”

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