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Ares And Kennedy Wilson Among Big Beasts Raising Money For Value-Add Deals

A big beast

Ares Management, Kennedy Wilson and BlackRock are betting they will continue to make high returns from UK and European property in the next few years.

The trio are among a host of well-known names out raising money for value-add funds that will buy assets in the UK and Europe. These funds typically target returns of 12% to 15%, and take on vacancy risk or buy into growing sectors.

Ares has raised $100M from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund for Ares European Property Enhancement Partners III, its third European value-add fund, according to IPE Real Assets. It raised €665M for the fund’s predecessor in 2016.

Kennedy Wilson put up an initial $56M as seed capital for a European fund, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from the 2018. That marks a renewed assault on this side of the Atlantic for the Los Angeles-based firm. Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate II’s first acquisition was the 240K SF Ditton Park business park west of London for £41M in July.

Kennedy Wilson was one of the most prolific distressed investors during the last cycle, making big profits on acquisitions in the UK, Spain and Ireland, where it continues to have a major presence with a build-to-rent joint venture with AXA.

According to Preqin, the largest value-add fund currently raising capital is the BlackRock Europe Property Fund V, which has a target of $1.4B and held a $780M first close in July. BlackRock has been a major investor in sectors like student housing and rented residential.

Angelo Gordon is targeting $1.2B for its AG Europe Realty Fund III, which will also invest in alternative sectors like residential, self-storage and land. Angelo Gordon also backed the purchase of the well-known Brixton Market in 2018. Preqin said it already raised $680M for the fund.

Preqin also said this year Meyer Bergman will launch its fourth European fund, which will focus on industrial and logistics assets, rather than its traditional forte of retail. The fund’s equity target is €1B.