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One Of Real Estate’s Smartest Investors Just Raised $1.9B For A New Fund

Soundstage at Pinewood Studios, bought by Aermont Capital in 2016

Aermont Capital, the real estate private equity fund manager set up by European property grandee Léon Bressler has raised $1.9B (£1.5B) for its latest opportunity fund.

Aermont Capital Real Estate Fund IV raised the money in one fell swoop, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Aermont had only been marketing the fund for a few months.

Documents from one of the investors, New Jersey’s state pension fund, show that the fund will be targeting opportunistic returns in Western European countries including the U.K., France and Germany.

The documents show why investors have been so keen to back Aermont — the firm has never made a loss on an investment, and returns for its first three funds range from an internal rate of return of 15% for its first fund, raised in 2007, to an IRR of 37% for its third fund, raised in 2015.

That fund saw Aermont buy film studio Pinewood for £323M in 2016, and the company has already made a phenomenal return on the deal. It has refinanced the business with a new £300M bond issue which values the famous studio, where the James Bond franchise is filmed, at around £600M.

Bressler was the executive that turned struggling French developer Unibail into the biggest listed property company in Europe. Partner Paul Golding leads the investment strategy in the U.K. and partner Vincent Rouget leads the investment strategy in Europe.