EUROPE - Internos Real Investors, the fund manager founded by Jos Short and Andrew Thornton, has acquired GPT Halverton (GPTH), giving it an established European investment platform.

GPTH, the loss-making real estate fund management arm of Australia's GPT Group, was bought by Internos for a nominal sum of €2 with around €7m working capital.

GPTH has offices in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, employs approximately 100 people and manages close to €1.7bn of gross assets in five funds and two separate account mandates from Germany and the Netherlands.

The acquisition will lead to immediate expansion for the UK-based boutique start-up fund management business, set up by Short and Thornton in 2008.

Short was chief executive at Pramerica's real estate private equity business for much of the past decade and Thornton was chief operating officer at Invesco Real Estate until 2007.

GPT announced its intention to divest its European fund management business in August this year and has subsequently undertaken an extensive disposal process culminating in exclusive negotiations with Internos.

Jonathan Johnstone, head of Europe at GPT, said: "We were searching for a bidder who would preserve the business in the short term and return it to growth.

"We are confident that we have found the right match in Internos, who will help the company to offer a full property investment solution going forward."