Grosvenor retail fund wins Dutch capital

Grosvenor Fund Management is thought to have gained commitments from two Dutch pension funds for a pan-European shopping centre vehicle.

The core-plus fund is one of five that Grosvenor’s fund management division hopes to launch this year. GFM is reported to have agreed terms to buy six shopping centres from Unibail-Rodamco, four in Sweden and two in France.

In a separate initiative, GFM has extended the life of the £400m Grosvenor London Office Fund from 2012 to 2017. Four of the five investors are thought to have voted for the extension.

Fund manager Scott Rowland said: “We are looking to raise new equity, which will provide new investors with an opportunity to take immediate exposure to an existing prime central London office portfolio.”

GLOF’s 12-month net return was 27.5%. Rowland added that the fund is also looking for new central London investments to add to the four already in the fund.

“This could be funded principally through new equity but there is also some scope to increase existing debt. The core fund is around 25% geared.”

ECE, one of Germany’s leading retail developers, expects to hold a second close for its new shopping centre fund in Q2 2011, raising a further €250m.

ECE raised €500m of equity in December from international investors in Europe and Asia. “This fund is very important for ECE,” said Karsten Hinrichs, the group’s managing director.

“It will try to buy distressed assets, or assets that need capital expenditure, where we can add value.” The fund will employ 50% gearing and its target returns are between 12% and 14%.