Austrian property investor CC Real has entered the Australian non-bank lending market via the acquisition of a 50% stake in Sydney-based Madigan Capital.

The €2.2bn European commercial real estate manager acquired the stake held by the Australian fund management company RF Capital. The other 50% is held by Michael Wood, a veteran non-bank lender, who founded the business in 2017.

Madigan has more than A$1bn (€641m) in institutional, including leading superannuation, fund under management. Its issued loans valued at more than A$250m in 2020 across industrial, commercial, retail, social infrastructure, student accommodation and residential assets located in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Barry Brakey, former head of property at Australia’s Future Fund, now a CC Real managing partner, said: “We identified Madigan Capital as the most promising investment through which to capitalise on opportunities that will arise with the anticipated surge in Australia’s non-bank lending landscape.

He told IPE Real Assets: “Non-bank debt lending in commercial real estate is a relatively mature market in both Europe and the US, so we are looking forward to bringing together our collective intelligence and sharing experiences with the team at Madigan Capital.”

Asked if CC Real would provide a bridge for European institutional investors seeking to invest in this sector in Australia, Brakey said CC Real would support Madigan’s existing efforts to attract offshore investors to Australia.

He said the partnership with Madigan was CC Real’s first exposure to non-bank lending, adding that the Austrian firm would also explore potential opportunities in Australia in addition to its partnership with Madigan Capital.

Wood, the CEO of Madigan, said: “As European investors continue to scour the world seeking the best risk-adjusted returns, we expect to be actively engaged with our partner in seeking out investment opportunities on behalf of these investors.”

Wood told IPE Real Assets that Madigan was well-positioned to provide “higher leverage than traditional bank lenders on account of our deep-dive real estate fundamentals approach to investment – in contrast to banks which tend to focus purely on credit”.

To read the digital edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.