Chevron buys into SL property fund – updated

The Standard Life Investments European Property Growth Fund opened in 2002 and currently has €800m under management.

Chevron‘s UK pension plan has purchased a stake in Standard Life Investments European Property Growth Fund, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The fund is managed by Standard Life Investments, the asset manager of Standard Life insurance company.

Standard Life Investments European Property Growth Fund initially raised €300 million in 2002. Three years later the fund was restructured from a closed-ended structure to open-ended, after limited partners’ demands for increased flexibility and a longer fund life. The fund currently stands at €800 million, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

Limited partners include the Lincolnshire County Pension Fund, Essex County Council Pension Fund. Pfizer’s Swiss corporate pension used to be an LP in the fund but sold its stake in August.

The European Property Growth Fund is open for value-add real estate investments in properties in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Spain and Sweden. Targeted property types include industrial, office and retail.

As of January 2008, the fund had invested in 31 properties in nine countries, including an €80 million purchase of four properties in Sweden and Belgium — two retail warehouse terraces in Sweden, an office property in Brussels and a light industrial estate near Antwerp.

The fund was generating an annual return rate of 12.2 percent (net of all fees) from its launch in 2001 until 2008. Its target return rate is 10 percent per year, over a 5-year period.

At the beginning of 2013, Standard Life completed a refinancing package with Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank to secure a new €150.7 million senior debt facility for the fund. The facility was secured on 11 properties in France, Belgium and Germany for a 3-year period, according to a statement.

The European Property Growth Fund is led by fund manager James Rushworth, who joined Standard Life in 2000 and opened the firm’s Paris office in 2007, according to the firm’s website.

Standard Life Investments declined to comment by press time.

Chevron UK pension plan purchased the fund stake to diversify its portfolio, a spokesperson said. The stake was bought from UK-based Cambridgeshire County Council.

This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Chevron purchased the fund stake using its UK pension plan, not the Chevron Corporate Pension Plan.