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Stage seeds Fund II with CEE real estate deal

The European direct secondaries investor spun out of National Bank of Greece in 2016 in a process backed by Glendower and Goldman Sachs.

Stage Capital, which spun out of National Bank of Greece in 2016, is raising its second fund dedicated to European direct secondaries deals.

The London-headquartered firm, whose cornerstone investors are Glendower Capital and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, has an informal target of €100 million for Laurel II, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Stage seeded the fund with a portfolio of Polish shopping centres acquired from real estate manager Pradera, according to a statement seen by Secondaries Investor. Glendower put up the capital for the deal, which closed in December.

The assets were previously held by Pradera Central European Fund, a 2006-vintage core real estate fund that was going through liquidation, Secondaries Investor understands.

“In line with our overall strategy, we have provided a liquidity solution in a very complicated transaction and in a challenging sector,” partner James Huckle said in the statement. “We continue to see a lot of potential in Poland and CEE, and are currently assessing further opportunities.”

Stage Capital spun out of NBG in 2016 with a portfolio of 11 private equity, venture capital and real estate fund interests, as part of a €300 million process led by Glendower and Goldman, Private Equity International reported in 2016.

Stage mainly does deals of €30 million to €80 million in the European private equity and real estate markets. It targets situations that involve taking control of assets acquired on a direct basis, as well as GP-led processes and structured deals, with a preference for buying at a discount, Secondaries Investor understands.

The firm is led by managing partner Graham Thomas, alongside partners Huckle and Laurent Allegot, according to its website.

Europe-focused secondaries funds accounted for 9.8 percent of all secondaries capital raised in 2021, the highest proportion in at least five years, according to Secondaries Investor‘s fundraising download.