Alberta leads single-asset process on German RE asset

AIMCO invested €400m of equity in the deal centered around Aurelis Real Estate, a leading Germany-based light industrial real estate company.

Alberta Investment Management Company has led a single-asset restructuring centred around a top-performing real estate asset.

New York-headquartered real estate manager Alpine Grove Partners moved Aurelis Real Estate into a continuation vehicle anchored by the Edmonton-headquartered pension fund manager, according to a statement from Evercore, which advised on the deal.

Fully 50 percent of limited partners sold in the process, which values Aurelis at €1.7 billion.

AIMCO committed more than €400 million in equity to the deal following a competitive auction, it said in a separate statement.

Aurelis is a light industrial real estate operating company. It owns 130 assets totalling 11 million square feet of lettable building area and 65 million square feet of land, mainly in Germany’s south-west manufacturing corridor.

“Germany is difficult for investors to get sizeable exposure to at the best of times, the same goes for light industrial,” said Dimme Lucassen, a London-based managing director with Evercore. This made the deal “super attractive” to investors, he added.

Aurelis’s plan is to become the dominant “pure-play” light industrial manager in its market, Lucassen added. AIMCO was the only new investor in the continuation fund.

According to a source familiar with the deal, it priced close to par to net asset value and included €1.6 billion of additional capital to help realise Aurelis’s plan.

A majority of Aurelis was held by 2007-vintage Redwood Grove International, which closed on $2 billion in 2007, according to data from sister publication PERE. Investors include Australia Post Superannuation Scheme, New York State Common Retirement Fund and University of California Regents Endowment Fund. AIMCO was not an investor in that fund, Lucassen said.

Real estate secondaries volume dropped 53.4 percent year-on-year to $890 million in the first half of this year, making it the second-largest faller after private equity, according to data from intermediary Setter Capital.