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Ex-Unibail Chief Raising £850M And Bringing Wooden Building Fund To UK


An investment management firm set up by former Unibail-Rodamco chief executive Guillaume Poitrinal is raising a new €1B (£848M) fund to develop sustainable commercial buildings using wood and will look to build in the UK for the first time. 

ICAMAP is raising the money for its ICAWOOD strategy, PERE magazine reported. The first ICAWOOD fund raised €750M from 12 investors, including Ivanhoé Cambridge and Allianz, to build sustainable office buildings using cross-laminated timber in the greater Paris region. Combined with debt, it said the first fund would have €1.6B to invest and would look to build more than 3M SF of assets. 

It owns seven buildings, including Arboretum, a 1.35M SF scheme that is the world’s largest timber-frame development.

The second fund will also look to build schemes in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. A similar ratio of debt and equity will give it more than €2B (£1.7B) to invest. While the first fund is concentrated on offices, the next fund could include other types of commercial property, PERE reported. 

ICAWOOD is a joint venture between ICAMAP and WO2, a timber construction specialist that acts as project manager on the fund’s developments. The fund is targeting a return of 12% to 15%. 

Replacing concrete with timber at the Arboretum scheme will save 23,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking 5,000 cars off the road for a year, ICAMAP told Bisnow in 2020.