European RE capital advisor: 5 positive things that happened during March

The founder of Capra Global Partners has written in an open letter that things are not all bad.

Anthony Biddulph, CEO of the London-based firm, has told clients, fund investors and industry friends his thoughts on the unlisted real estate sector during episodic times of crisis. He also listed five things that had happened during March as the coronavirus forced a lockdown.

His comments are instructive and reflect a sense within the real estate industry that there is currently a mixed bag of transactions – some are getting done while others are on hold.

Capra employs 14 people and has various business lines including fund raising and debt advisory work.

Biddulph said that the following has happened: a new lease was signed in Europe on a logistics asset for over 20,000 m 2 at rental levels agreed some weeks ago with no reduction in terms sought; a large capital commitment was made to a China Fund investing predominantly in Shanghai and surrounding provinces, including Hubei; a loan closed from a bank and drawn down a fortnight ago secured against a logistics asset in Europe; a conversation took place last week with a Nordic institution which reiterated its intention to commit to a European value add fund plus discussions about how to replace on-site due diligence with video proxies; and signed papers received last week from an insurer to commit a very ‘substantial sum’ to a logistics fund.

Speaking with PropertyEU after publishing his letter, Biddulph explained, ‘There seems to be a view taken by many that the current turmoil whilst it changes the way in which we work and live in the short term, should not derail long term thinking and investing. We had expected activity levels to drop to virtually zero but far from it. We should be closing two more fund investments this week.’