GERMANY – Aberdeen Asset Management has notified clients it will have to postpone distribution from Degi Europa – the now closed open-ended real estate fund – by two months to September, as it waits for buyers to pay the purchase price.
The announcement comes just days before new regulations for German open-ended funds (GOEFs) – which are part of the Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch (KAGB) – go into effect on 29 July.
Aberdeen said the purchase price for several sold assets would only be paid in August and September.
The company's mandate for the Degi Europe fund is to end by the end of September, as all assets are sold and funds are transferred to custodian Commerzbank.
The most recent major sale comprised 12 office buildings in the Czech Republic snapped up by a private equity investor.
The office complex 'The Park' in Prague, with 116,000 square meters in rental space, was acquired by a "company from the Starwood Capital Group", Aberdeen said.
Four of the buildings were in the Degi Europa portfolio, another seven in Degi International and one in Degi Global Business.
The total revenue from the sale "was slightly below the market value of the assets assessed by independent experts", Aberdeen said.
Few asset managers with a large institutional client base are expected to issue new GOEFs for institutional clients.
One exception is Union Investment, which is still offering such funds for institutions such as churches, savings banks or foundations.
These institutions have less strict regulations on liquidity than insurance-based institutional investors and are not limited by the recently introduced two-year minimum holding period.
However, the real estate association Zentraler Immobilienausschuss (ZIA) noted in a statement on the KAGB that GOEFs were "facing new requirements and a bigger administrative burden" under the new regulations.
In early July, SEB distributed another €368m to investors from its SEB ImmoInvest GOEF.
The company noted that around 29% of the fund's assets, or €1.7bn, had been returned to investors since the fund's dissolution was announced in May 2012.
Many GOEFs are still being dissolved, and some might be converted to Spezialfonds, a step IntReal and Warburg-Henderson took earlier this year.
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