Aberdeen Standard Investments is to expand its UK real estate lending business into Continental Europe this year, EuroProperty can reveal.
ASI has a long track record investing in direct real estate in Europe but has not so far invested on the Continent in real estate debt.
Neil Odom-Haslett, ASI’s head of commercial real estate lending (CREL), said: ‘Europe is a big focus for us and we are pretty sure that we will begin lending there this year.’
Discussions with institutional investors are underway to set up a co-mingled, senior debt fund with a target capital raise of several hundred million euros.
Odom-Haslett said the vehicle is likely to be able to lend in all major European jurisdictions where ASI has real estate teams working already. It is envisaged that the fund would mainly originate its own loans, offering borrowers €15-€50 mln average tickets.
There may be some capacity for whole loans as well as senior, although Odom-Haslett said the final parameters are still under discussion.
The CREL business moved from real estate into ASI’s fixed income division in 2017, becoming a part of the private credit team. But it also continues to work closely with the real estate business.
Since ASI sold its life assurance business to Phoenix, also in 2017, all the capital it manages is from third-party rather than internal investors.
Odom-Haslett said that in the last 12 months, ASI had raised £2 bn (€2.27 bn) of capital across five mandates to invest in UK real estate senior debt.
This story first appeared in EuroProperty, PropertyEU's sister publication