REAL ESTATE - US private equity group Carlyle has appointed Thomas Lindström to head its new Nordic real estate operations.

Lindström joins from GE Real Estate, where he was responsible for Nordic acquisitions.

As managing director, he will spearhead Carlyle’s regional acquisitions with a fund of €760m as part of a European strategy to invest in, refurbish and reposition off-market real estate across sectors. The firm has already invested in two Danish residential projects and is close to a deal on an undisclosed Swedish property.

“There are development opportunities across the region. It all depends on what’s happening locally,” said Katherine Elmore-Jones, European spokeswoman for the group.

Although managing director Eric Sasson cited in a statement the “great opportunity for real estate investments” presented by the region, Carlyle takes a bottom-up approach to assets. In a recent UK transaction, the firm acquired a “pretty grim” civil service building in a prime location. If and when it receives planning permission, the firm will demolish it and build a hotel on the site within three years.

“We’re not long-term investors. We don’t look at things like yield,” Elmore-Jones said.

Lindström’s appointment comes during a period of more general expansion for Carlyle’s currently 32-strong European team. Lindström will build up a Nordic-specific staff of three—four people within the next two years.

Carlyle is one of the world’s largest private investment groups with more than $30bn under management. It has often been seen as the corporate equivalent of the Bilderberg Club – and has become a target for campaigners – because of the roster of former politicians on its board. Ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former UK Prime Minister John Major are non-executive directors.