Columbia University sells Patron RE stake

The Columbia University endowment has sold its interest in Patron III, a €868m real estate opportunity fund.

New York-based endowment Columbia Investment Management Company (IMC) has sold a stake in Patron Capital III, UK regulatory notices disclosed.

IMC manages the Columbia University’s assets on behalf of its trustees and invests in private equity real estate, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division. A spokesperson from IMC did not return a comment by press time.

Patron Capital III is a 2007-vintage real estate opportunity vehicle that raised €867.6 million, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division. The fund had an original target of €750 million, but within six days of launching it drew €1.3 billion of interest. The total amount raised also included a €45 million general partner commitment.

Other limited partners in the fund include fund of funds manager Capital Dynamics and the University of Michigan.

Fund III invests in undervalued and distressed properties in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. In 2007 it acquired pan-European youth hostel provider Generator Hostels. Initially the company owned only two hostels in London and Berlin, but it has since expanded to 12 and plans to open two more by 2016, according to Patron’s website.

Other investments include a portfolio of Russian shopping centres which the firm acquired in a joint venture with Barings Vostok Capital Partners and five-a-side commercial football operator Powerleague, which Patron purchased in 2008 for £42.5 million ($64.5 million; €55.5 million).

Patron is headquartered in London and was gearing up to launch its fifth fund with a €1.1 billion target as of last July, PEI data disclosed. Its previous fund raised €780 million in 2011.

Columbia sold its stake in Patron III to KSF I Master. Little is know about the buyer except that it is domiciled in Edinburgh. Principals were unavailable to comment by press time.