EUROPE – The Austrian real estate company Signa has sold its Düsseldorf-based debt advisory business to its chief executive Michael Morgenroth.

Morgenroth, who was also managing director at Signa Holding until 1 July, has bought all the shares of Signa Real Estate Advisory (Signa Read) from Signa Holding.

According to a press release issued by Signa, he took this step as he and his team gained "extensive experience" in real estate debt investments with Signa.

Morgenroth said Signa was "among the few in the German-speaking region that have already managed such investments for third parties".

He added: "The changes in Europe's real estate refinancing structures and regulatory changes in the insurance industry make the area of real estate debt an attractive investment theme and a promising business field, whose development requires our full and complete attention."

Signa said it wanted to focus on real estate investments and development, "given the strong growth over the past 12 months and the expected further expansion".

Signa Group currently manages around €5bn in real estate assets.