Benson Elliot has made two real estate investments in Italy by teaming up with the former Italian platform of Doughty Hanson.
The private equity-style investment manager has invested in a residential development and a retail property through the acquisition of all the units in funds managed by Europa Risorse.
The acquisition of Via Aurelia 278 in Rome and Terminal Nord Retail Park in Udine sees Marc Mogull, managing partner at Benson Elliot, reunited with the company he helped establish in 2001 when Mogull was head of Doughty Hanson Real Estate.
Antonio Napoleone, who also co-founded Europa Risorse and is currently managing partner, said the company had been evaluating the Italian market so that Benson Elliot could “act decisively”.
Benson Elliot said the deals reflected its confidence that Italy had “turned the corner” and reflected its “intention to be an early and significant mover” in the country, following recent investments in neighbouring Spain.
“The euro-zone crisis has receded, and we’ve seen Italian sovereign spreads fall 500bps in just a couple of years,” Mogull said.
“It’s inevitable that this shift in investor sentiment, combined with an improving economy, debt markets that are slowly healing and the expectation of political change will drive a recovery in property markets.”
The two-year Via Aurelia scheme comprises two buildings on a 10,000 sqm site. All building permits all in place. Near the Vatican to the west of Rome, the project has an end value of around €100m and will include between 62 and 78 large luxury apartments over four new buildings. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year.
Terminal Nord was sold by British Land’s closed-ended Pillar Retail Europark Fund. Anchored by a 9,600 sqm Carrefour, the 32,340 sq m property is currently 95% occupied.