Ampere Gestion and Swiss Life Asset Managers Real Estate France have secured a €650m funding for their French housing venture Foncière Vesta.

In October last year, the CDC Habitat subsidiary and Swiss Life, acting on behalf of a consortium of five institutional investors, announced the acquisition of an 80% stake in Foncière Vesta from ICF Novedis, an SNCF subsidiary. ICF Novedis owns the remaining 20% stake in the portfolio.

This funding now closes the Foncière Vesta deal which covers a 128 buildings portfolio that includes 4,000 housing units, Ampere Gestion and Swiss Life said today.

The new capital will be used to fund a construction programme in addition to those development schemes already identified.

Ampere and Swiss Life said they secured the funding with the support of joint arrangers Natixis and Crédit Foncier de France. The funding involves 17 banks including 12 Groupe BPCE banks.

Frédéric Bôl, the head of real estate in France at Swiss Life Asset Managers, said: “This is the first time we have seen this type of transaction in the French housing sector, and we are delighted with this acquisition and the long-term partnership formed with SNCF.

“We are also very pleased to have been able to finalise this funding package within a very tight timeline alongside leading partner banks”.

Vincent Mahé, the secretary general of CDC Habitat and CEO of Ampere Gestion, said: “We started working on the structuration and the implementation of this high-performance funding together with Natixis, Crédit Foncier and the other partner banks in the summer of 2018.

“The objective was for the amount of the funding and its maturity to perfectly fit the development ambitions of this portfolio and the long-term commitments we have made to our investors.”

Thierry Bernard, the head of real estate finance in Europe at Natixis corporate & Investment Banking, said: “Institutional investors are increasingly interested in residential asset classes.

“Natixis aims to become a major player in financing this type of asset class, accompanying key partners such as CDC Habitat and Swiss Life Asset Managers.”