Aeriance Investment, the commercial real estate debt fund manager, originated €270 million across 20 loans during 2015 as it increased its activity in the UK regions. The firm has now lent €1.6 billion since it was launched in 2008.
Last year’s total lending was slightly down from 2014’s total of €285 million, although the number of deals was up from 15. The firm is aiming to lend in the region of €350 million during 2016.
Aeriance chief executive Harin Thaker said that since late 2014, the firm has shifted its focus from the increasingly hot central London market to increase its lending activity in the UK regions, including city centre residential schemes. The majority of last year’s business comprised bridge and development finance for residential and commercial schemes in locations including Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester, Derby and Durham.
“In terms of the ‘planning-to-bridge’ loans, where we typically advance around 55% of the loan to cost, we are very happy to work with companies that clearly have the skills and track record to handle the planning risk and where pre-applications demonstrate that risks are being mitigated against,” said Thaker.
Aeriance has also provided development finance to a loan-to-cost of 85 percent and mezzanine finance to an 80 percent loan-to-value, Thaker added. During 2015, it originated €52.5 million of mezzanine finance across deals in the UK, France, Sweden and the USA. The loans included €25 million to a French investor.
The majority of last year’s total, around €226 million, was written during the first eight months of the year, at which point a quarter of business by value financed residential conversion schemes.
Aeriance’s most recent loan was a £13 million bridge facility to property management company Golfrate, which is led by Hussein Aziz, brother of Criterion Capital chief executive Asif Aziz. The bridge acquisition loan financed the purchase of a mixed portfolio of suburban London properties including retail and leisure space with redevelopment potential. During 2014, Aeriance provided Golfrate with a £20 million loan to fund the acquisition of a South East pub portfolio.
Aeriance also closed an £8.875 million bridge loan for Hadley Property Group to fund the acquisition and planning application for the conversion of a warehouse in London’s Finsbury Park into 138 apartments.
Thaker said that Aeriance raised around €100 million of new capital through syndicating individual deals to high net worth individuals and family offices during 2015. The firm invests through its Opportunistic Real Estate Loan Fund 1 and Aeriance Mezzanine Real Estate Debt Fund 2, but currently has no plans to raise a new fund.
In total, Aeriance has raised €600 million across four closed-ended funds since 2008. The firm’s main sponsor is pan-European real estate investment manager Aerium Group, which has more than €6 billion of assets under management.