AXA REIM aims to increase debt investment to €7bn

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers expects to raise a further €2bn by the end of  this year, to increase its real estate senior debt investing programme to €7bn. The commercial real estate finance team, led by Isabelle Scemama, has already had commitments of €1.4bn and raised its 2012 investment target from €2bn to €2.4bn.

In the first half of the year, AXA invested €1.3bn, making it probably Europe’s leading senior commercial real estate debt investor. Its largest single investment was the June acquisition of an €800m Société Générale French and German loans portfolio.

In London this year, Scema-ma’s team has taken secondary participations in Devonshire Square in the City, where Goldman Sachs underwrote the senior loan for Blackstone; and Queensberry House in Mayfair, where it acquired the senior loan from Deutsche Bank, with M&G.

About 60% of its investments this year were secondary deals and 40% primary loans. As well as repeat clients, AXA said new investors are joining or being targeted in Germany, the Netherlands, the Nordics and Switzerland.

Last year, AXA invested €1.5bn in senior debt, two-thirds in the UK and one third in France and the Netherlands. Scemama said: “Having a platform of sufficient size and scale is critical in terms of accessing deals, as well as  managing the debt.”