Warburg-Henderson upbeat on German property

Warburg-Henderson, the €3.7bn joint venture between London’s Henderson Global Investors and German private bank MM Warburg & Co, is forecasting continuing high demand for German real estate after spending over twice as much buying property as selling it last year.

Core Europe has been the main focal points for buying by the operation, and it is likely to remain so this year, says managing director Henning Klöppelt.

“We remain focused on the solvent European market, particularly Germany and France, with a preference for core-plus investments. However, where appropriate opportunities arise, we will also invest in the value-add segment in Germany.

Last year in total Warburg-Henderson spent €690m in European property – mainly in Germany and the UK, with selective buying in Spain and Benelux. It received €270m from disposals.

The group took €600m of fresh capital commitments from investors, and said it hopes to invest a similar amount in 2011 as it did throughout 2010.

Its upbeat news stands in contrast to a statement from rival Union Investment Real Estate last week it was temporarily suspending dealings in its €2.2bn UniImmo: Global fund due to inability to strike a true value for investments in Tokyo.

Warburg-Henderson, meanwhile, said it “remains confident on both the outlook and demand from investors, for the German real estate market. Our expertise and excellent access across the marketplace has allowed us the opportunity to invest in the right place at the right time.”

The buoyancy of selected real estate in Europe is also helping demand for IntReal, the property mutual and ‘Spezial’ funds administrator that Warburg-Henderson established in 2009, and owns outright.

Spezialfonds are like segregated accounts, and have an entity, rather than natural person, as a client.

The first fund IntReal helped launch began in 2009, then four more launched last year. Five more with aggregate assets of €1.5bn are set to begin soon with its help.

David Walker

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