EUROPE – La Française and Forum Partners have acquired Cushman & Wakefield Investors, several months after announcing a strategic partnership to develop a direct real estate business in Europe.
Cushman & Wakefield Investors, a pan-European fund manager with $1.2bn (€888m) of assets under management, will be renamed La Française Forum Real Estate Partners (LFF Real Estate Partners).
The move provides a foothold in core European real estate for La Française, which already manages $9bn in French property, and Forum Partners, which has been managing global opportunistic strategies since 2002 and listed property investments since 2009.
La Française, which acquired a 24.9% stake in Forum Partners last year, will own two-thirds of the new venture, and Forum Partners will own one-third.
The new combined platform, taking into account all of the real estate operations of La Française and Forum Partners, will have close to $20bn in assets under management.
The team at Cushman & Wakefield Investors, led by CEO David Rendall and managing director Jens Göttler, will remain in place.
It will also continue to manage PURetail, a real estate fund formed in 2009 through a joint venture with Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP), itself the subject of a recent takeover by Aberdeen Asset Management.
The fund, which focuses on urban retail assets in France, Germany and Sweden, will continue as normal and could be marketed to La Française’s investor base, according to managing director Patrick Rivière.
Russell Platt, CEO of Forum Partners, also said there might be opportunities for the new platform to invest in Southern European markets.
The decision by Cushman & Wakefield to sell its fund management arm suggests that it intends to focus on its core property services business.
In a statement, Carlo Sant’Albano, CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, said: “With a number of high-priority, strategic growth initiatives underway at present it is not the right time to invest substantially in building out the WCI platform.