LaSalle Investment Management is to start lending against real estate in the Benelux region.
The debt fund manager has expanded the jurisdictions that its £600m LaSalle Real Estate Debt Strategies II fund can operate in – the vehicle previously lent only the UK and Germany. It is yet to complete a deal in the region but is analysing a trio of opportunities.
Michael Zerda, European director in the debt investments and special situations group at LaSalle told Real Estate Capital: “We have always seen Benelux as an attractive place to lend but we are now seeing a build-up of transactions and strong deal flow. More opportunities are presenting themselves with domestic banks starting to lend there again, albeit at depressed levels.”
The Dutch real estate equity and lending markets saw a steady recovery last year with investment volumes hitting €9.5bn according to research by Savills, more than double the total the year before, with investors such as Blackstone, Prologis and Lone Star all piling in.
Meanwhile lending margins halved during 2014 to around 200 bps for prime property and last September Deutsche Bank issued its €250m Tulip CMBS, the first to be secured against Dutch collateral this cycle.
LaSalle Real Estate Debt Strategies II does not lend in France although LaSalle Investment Management is able to do so on behalf of other clients. In 2012 for example it provided a €21m mezzanine loan to Thor Equities for its purchase of 65 Croisette on Boulevard de la Croisette in Cannes.
In addition to LaSalle Real Estate Debt Strategies II, LaSalle is also currently investing its £440m LaSalle Residential Finance fund, which lends on residential, student accommodation and hotel development in the UK.