Henderson seeks up to €250m for German logistics Spezialfonds

Henderson Global Investors is to use the popular German Spezialfonds structure to raise up to €250m for a logistics property fund, focused on that country, in conjunction with Palmira Capital Partners.

The German property arm of Henderson and Palmira will target institutional investors both in Germany and Austria with the eight-year product, which will aim to make 8.5% a year by investing in logistics-focused real estate in Germany.

It is the second Spezialfonds for Henderson Property, following the Henderson German Retail Income fund, which reached its final close last year and has made five acquisitions.

As well as being flexible in meeting investors’ specific needs, the Spezialfonds structure can avoid recent problems among open-ended property funds in Germany, of offering liquidity arguably beyond what the underlying asset would allow.

The manager of Henderson’s fund highlights for the new portfolio the assets will be “good quality” and in “top locations” in Germany.

He is not alone in preferring such quality attributes, as rival Invesco has predicted a conservatism among investors this year.

Tim Horrocks, head of Germany at Henderson Property, said: “The strategy for the fund involves the acquisition of existing, proven schemes with secured leases already in place. This means that we retain the benefit of the low risk associated with newer build assets but avoid the premium pricing.”

Stuttgart, Bremen, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Cologne are expected to be main locations for the fund, which is expected to have a first close in summer.

Invesco’s first quarter report on European property said direct property investors would “remain risk-averse for 2012 and continue to focus on a narrow definition of prime assets” – continuing a trend evident over most of the past 18 months, before taking on more risk in early 2013.

Secure income and liquidity will be two key attributes for real estate investments, as well as an avoidance of weaker peripheral markets, liquid markets attracting various sources – geographies and investor types – of capital, and property in ‘key gateway centres’, Invesco said.

It added Germany overall would “continue outperforming on a relative basis.”

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