Catella’s owners to sell pan-European advisory business

Sweden-based, pan-European property investment consultancy Catella is up for sale. Catella’s owners, the Catella Foundation with 90% and furniture dynasty Inter IKEA with 10%, have instructed Deutsche Bank to lead the sale of Catella AB.

The group’s subsidiaries, which include Catella Financial Advisory and Catella Capital, are structured as partnerships, so the sale includes the parent company and its 50%-60% shares in the partnerships.

Catella Financial Advisory is active in 13 countries through 25 local offices, its presence in Paris and the Nordic countries being the biggest. The business was started in 1992 by Johan Ericsson, CEO of Catella Financial Advisory, and Lennart Schuss, Catella’s CEO for Sweden.

It is involved in corporate finance as well as property advisory work and in 2009 helped raise around €500m as a property adviser. Its mergers and acquisitions team recently created two institutionally-backed entities with a combined spending power of up to SEK9.5bn (£849.2m).

These two new businesses are Hemfosa Fastigheter, led by the former CEO of Kungsleden; and Roxanne, created with GE Capital, which will only buy properties let to government tenants.

The financial advisory group also owns property asset management company Amplion, which has €1bn of assets under management. Its other subsidiaries include Catella Real Estate KAG, which runs open-ended German funds, and Focus Nordic Cities, the first open-ended property fund for investments in real estate in Scandinavia and countries bordering the Baltic Sea.

Another subsidiary, Catella Capital, is an asset management business for listed equities in Sweden, with €2.5bn of assets under management. The Catella Foundation and Inter IKEA are not pursuing a distressed sale but are thought to be realigning their operations, given that Catella is only a small part of their overall business.

Deutsche Bank has not yet offered Catella’s managers in Sweden, who built up the brand, a chance to buy the business, as the sale material has not yet been issued. A source said: “A transaction with an external party could prove difficult because of the way the group is structured through partnerships.”

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