ActivumSG, which targets real estate investment opportunities across the capital structure, has acquired Dutch housing developer VanWonen on behalf of its latest fund. The purchase is the sixth corporate acquisition to date by ActivumSG funds for strategies focused principally on the residential and elderly care sectors in select European markets.
ActivumSG Fund VI acquired the company from Quadrum Habitat Fund, which is managed by Quadrum Capital, on terms that both parties have agreed not to disclose. The purchase is the largest investment to date by Fund VI, which has committed €120 mln, or 25% of its equity, in the first six months since its launch.
VanWonen’s management retains a minority interest in the company, which is headquartered in the city of Zwolle, 50 miles east of Amsterdam and 25 miles from the border with Germany.
VanWonen was founded in 2017 from part of the residential development division of Royal BAM Group, the largest listed construction company in the Netherlands. Led by Chief Executive Officer Alfred Bolks and Chief Financial Officer Chris Stam, the company sold almost 600 units last year, mainly in the northern, central and eastern regions of the Netherlands. VanWonen has a pipeline of 42 projects with the potential to develop 5,000 units.
Saul Goldstein, ActivumSG’s founder and managing partner, said: 'We see corporate acquisitions of developers like VanWonen as the most attractive route to access the opportunities in very competitive markets. It’s an approach that has proved to be highly successful for us already in Germany. Demographic trends affecting housing are a recurring theme for our funds and we look up and down the capital structure to find the optimal way to invest in them.'
ActivumSG has established two development platforms in Germany through corporate acquisitions. It assembled Instone Real Estate, Germany’s largest residential development company, and generated more than a fourfold return on invested capital following the company’s listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2018. Secondly, it has combined two developers specialized in building care homes for the elderly to form Carestone and is supporting the platform as it scales up its project pipeline and the number of units it delivers.
To broaden its corporate investment capabilities ActivumSG has appointed Bernardo Lazcano as managing director in its Madrid office. Lazcano joins after a 15-year career at Citigroup in Spain advising clients on corporate deals in financial services and real estate, latterly as director of Investment Banking.
In addition to accessing the residential market in Germany through corporate acquisitions and mezzanine lending, ActivumSG funds have invested directly in development projects in Spain’s most dynamic cities. Their Spanish investments will deliver 4,000 apartments for sale and more than 1,500 rental units. To oversee the projects ActivumSG established ASG Homes, a 28-strong in-house team which is now one of Spain’s 10 largest residential developers.