Wainbridge’s London vehicle approaches second closing

Russian investors back London fund, as US vehicle prepares for launch

Wainbridge Capital is to hold a second closing for its Wainbridge Global Opportunities London (WGOL) fund in April.

The group, which was set up last year by former Cambridge Place Investment Management property director Rob Rackind, hopes to follow up with a final closing of up to £100m by September.

By then, the fund should have contributions from 30 wealthy private Russian investors. At its first closing last year, WGOL raised slightly under £40m from more than 10 Russian entrepreneurs with no previous exposure to real estate.

This was supplemented by a £10.5m co-investment from Rackind and senior Wainbridge principals Edouard Fernandez, Kirill Pisarev and Mikhail Serdtsev. Their co-investment will rise to 20% of the fund overall. Normally, sponsors inject between 1% and 4%.

Wainbridge is also preparing to launch a US-only fund by this summer. The mezzanine debt special situations fund will again be backed by wealthy Russian and European individuals, with co-investment by the principals.

It will look at distressed debt, properties and situations where debt is coming due or is overly leveraged, in partnership with financially sound developers.

The fund will put up mezzanine debt or preferred equity up to a 70% loan-to-value level. It will have a $50m-$100m capacity and mid-teen target returns. The focus will be on New York, where Wainbridge is considering setting up a team.

WGOL has three off-market deals in the pipeline, one involving a West End office  requiring capital investment, which will be financed by Santander.

It seeks value-added greater London assets with average lease lengths under three years, usually worth £20m-£50m. Its first investment was the recapitalisation and refinancing of office building No. 1 Croydon, for £31m. Deutsche Pfandbrief-bank provided a £20.5m, five- year loan, at a 66% LTV ratio.

With leverage, WGOL will have £285m to invest. The five-year, closed-ended vehicle seeks high-teen returns. Former banker Seth Lieber-man, and Robert Orr, who was a main board director at Jones Lang LaSalle, are its advisers.