FREEHILLS has advised Lend Lease Investment Management on the recent launch of a new institutional fund to invest in distressed real estate.
The fund (Lend Lease Real Estate Partners No 3) raised in excess of $200 million of equity from Australian and off-shore investors, giving the Fund purchasing power of around $400 million.
Freehills partner Justin O’Farrell led the Freehills team on the establishment of the fund, working closely with senior associate Rob Bileckij.
O’Farrell said of the raising: "This is the first local launch of this nature since the global financial crisis struck. Fund raisings for wholesale property investment have been difficult in recent times, and we are delighted to be involved with this deal."
The Fund attracted interest from a small but diverse club of institutions including Australian and European pension funds.
It is intended that funds raised will now be applied to invest in several of the assets of the ING retail portfolio, where Lend Lease has obtained preferred bidder status.
"Lend Lease’s wholesale property funds have been leaders in the market for some time,"
O’Farrell said. "The Lend Lease Investment Management team are a vastly professional outfit. They have around $5 billion in assets under management.
"We have helped them over a number of years, including recently on the issue of Medium Term Notes out of their APPF Retail Fund, and in the ongoing issue of Convertible Preference Units out of the APPF Commercial Fund. They are constantly looking for ways to improve performance and returns," O'Farrell said.
"We have seen a great deal of recapitalisation in the listed property market during the past year and it seems likely there will be more of it. This latest launch suggests we may now see some welcome movement in the wholesale space," O’Farrell said.