ARA Asset Management, a leading Asia-Pacific real estate fund manager, and Venn Partners announced on March 26 the completion of ARA’s acquisition of a majority stake in Venn through its subsidiary, ARA UK Asset Management. The deal combines Venn’s specialist knowledge in European real estate credit and ARA’s global asset management expertise with the aim of growing the real estate credit platform globally.
ARA Venn will build on Venn’s existing capabilities to create and manage funds as well as other investment vehicles to invest in a range of credit strategies in the commercial and residential real estate sectors. Founded in 2009, Venn is a specialist investment manager in European private real estate debt with combined assets under management and investment mandates of over 5 billion pounds sterling (US$5.95 billion).
Its current strategies comprise a UK government-backed lending programme into private sector rental housing, value-add strategies in UK and European commercial real estate debt, and residential mortgage finance in the Netherlands. Venn’s proprietary risk management system is used across all of its strategies and is licensed to external investment managers.
While leveraging the track record and combined experience of its shareholders, ARA will provide the cornerstone capital and working capital to drive ARA Venn’s expansion of its investment management business in real asset-backed credit markets in the UK, broader continental Europe and other geographies.
ARA, which set up its European operations in March 2018, has made significant headway in the region. In July 2019, it acquired a majority stake in Dunedin Property Asset Management (renamed ARA Dunedin) to invest in and manage real estate assets in the UK. ARA Venn, the group’s second investment partnership in Europe, strengthens its foothold in the region and widens the spectrum of real asset fund products available to its investors.
ARA Europe chief executive officer and ARA Venn chairman Mark Ebbinghaus notes that ARA has built a wealth of experience in several real estate fund products across different sectors, but this is the group’s first venture into European real estate credit.
“In the current and likely near-term volatile market environment driven by reactions to the global pandemic, the real assets credit market is viewed as a positive space to be in, particularly for participants with committed undeployed capital and those with established track record managing government programmes,” he says.
ARA Venn, the latest addition to ARA’s diverse suite of real estate capabilities, presents another investment opportunity for its investors, giving them access to Europe’s large, diverse and transparent real estate credit market with high growth opportunities.
This is the second completed acquisition announced by ARA this month. Earlier on March 5, it announced the completion of its purchase of a majority stake in LOGOS Group, one of the leading logistics property entities in the Asia-Pacific region.
LOGOS will operate as ARA’s exclusive platform for logistics assets globally, offering ARA’s investors a suite of products in the private and public markets. The deal combines ARA’s global fund management capabilities with LOGOS’ Asia-Pacific logistics property and development expertise to create a logistics real estate development and investment management platform.
As a vertically integrated business, LOGOS manages every aspect of logistics real estate, from sourcing land or facilities to undertaking development and asset management, on behalf of some of the world’s leading global real estate investors.