EUROPE - Duet Private Equity has achieved a second close on its European Real Estate Debt fund by raising capital from both the private and public markets.

The company has raised £50m (€57.6m) by listing a new entity, Duet Real Estate Finance, on the London Stock Exchange, while attracting a further £25m through direct commitments to the fund from European institutional investors.

Duet Real Estate Finance is the only UK-listed company focused primarily on investing in mezzanine debt for European commercial real estate.

Duet is seeking to generate returns by providing mezzanine finance to existing property owners, thereby capitalising on the current gap in the European lending markets.

Significant falls in asset values, increased capital requirements and the overall need to reduce balance-sheet size are forcing banks to reduce their real estate exposure.

There is currently a significant supply/demand imbalance for real estate debt, and the Duet fund has already provided close to £60m of debt capital through five separate transactions.

This includes providing mezzanine financing for 17 Columbus Courtyard in London, alongside Partners Group.

Dale Lattanzio, managing director at Duet Private Equity, said: "There are many opportunities to be uncovered in the European commercial real estate debt market - knowing where to look and executing them is the key. We're looking forward to investing the enlarged assets of the fund.

"A number of investors continue to show interest in the strategy, and we intend to work with these investors with a view to increasing the overall size of the fund."