FREEHILLS has advised German fund manager Atlantic on the launch of its first Australian fund.
Atlantic Gesellschaft zur Vermittlung Internationaler Investitionen mbH & Co KG recently launched its A$36 million ATLANTIC Australia No. 1 Trust earlier this year.
The fund’s sole asset is a property at Anzac Parade, Kensington in Sydney, with a long term lease to the University of New South Wales.
Freehills’ funds management partner Matthew Stutsel led the deal team advising Atlantic. The Freehills team included funds management solicitor Katherine Bennett, property partner Greg Hing, senior associate Alicia Albury, finance partner Wendy Gwyn and solicitor Lucinda Flanagan.
"It was a delight to work with German fund manager ATLANTIC in establishing their first fund in Australia," Stutsel said.
"The transaction was complex and challenging, requiring us to coordinate advisors across different firms and disciplines, and explain legal concepts including the nature of trusts. Trying to make Australian law issues work for German law outcomes also added to the challenge," said Stutsel.
This investment supports the trend of foreign capital being attracted to Australian property by its open regulatory system, comparatively stable markets and high risk adjusted financial returns.
ATLANTIC was established in 1998 as a subsidiary of the Rickmers Group, initially syndicating shipping funds based on the long shipping tradition of its parent.
Atlantic is diversifying and expanding into other markets, such as international real estate, it said.
Establishing the Atlantic Australia No.1 Trust has helped ATLANTIC enter the Australian property market and diversify its investment offerings to German clients. In future, ATLANTIC intends to realise further projects and is currently searching the Australian market for interesting real estate propositions.
Fortius Funds Management Pty Ltd is acting as trustee of the fund, and acquired the property interest from Westpac Funds Management Limited. Commonwealth Bank has provided bridge finance until the fund is syndicated in Germany.