Swedish investment company Catella is acquiring a majority stake in UK real estate investment and asset management firm APAM.

Catella Property Fund Management has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire 75% of shares. It is paying £18m (€20.3m) for APAM which had revenues of £7m last year.

APAM manages £1.4bn in real estate assets with 41 employees and will give Catella greater presence in the UK.

The acquisition will take Catella’s own assets under management to close to SEK200bn (€19.7bn).

Knut Pedersen, CEO of Catella, said: “As a leading company within the strategically important UK market, APAM constitutes a key piece in Catella’s ambition to build the pan-European platform Catella has built the last years within our Property Investment Management business area, which has been our focus for the last four years.”

Simon Cooke and William Powell, founders and executive directors of APAM, will remain shareholders in APAM, each with 12.5% of the share capital and voting power.

APAM will continue to be run independently by its management team, but Catella said cooperation between the two organisations would start immediately.

“Management from both companies see significant opportunities to strengthen their offering to international investors by leveraging the combined pan-European reach the two companies can provide,” it said.

Cooke, founding shareholder and executive director, said: “This transaction brings together two great names in property investment management and Catella’s strategic investment provides us with an even stronger platform for growth.

“Will and I will continue to lead and drive the APAM business – it will be very much business as usual.”