New UK property firm launches with €342m value-add vehicle

Two UK property veterans have teamed up to form Ergo Real Estate, a property investor, developer and manager targeting value-add opportunities in London and other major cities and conurbations.

Martin Jepson, the former president and chief operating officer of Brookfield Property Partners, and Christopher Cope, the former founding partner of Grafton Advisors, have joined forces at what they say is ‘an opportune time’ to work together on ‘delivering creative solutions to add value to properties’.

In a first move, Ergo has formed a £300 mln (€342 mln) joint venture with insurer NFU Mutual called Aver Property which will invest in value-add and opportunistic acquisitions of commercial property assets.

Aver Property’s first acquisition is 2 Brindleyplace, a 78,000 sq ft (7,250 m2) office building in Birmingham. The asset was acquired from Hansainvest for £29.2 mln, which reflects a net initial yield of 6.5%.

Commenting on their new venture, Cope said: ‘We believe there will be demand for our skill set in today’s challenging market. Although we are best known for our work in London – Martin in the City and me in the West End – our knowledge and expertise are transferable to the major conurbations of the UK, where we see significant value-add opportunities.’



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