US real estate fund manager Clarion Partners is expanding into European real estate investment management through the acquisition of a majority stake in Gramercy Europe.

Gramercy Europe will become an operating business of Clarion and be rebranded Clarion Gramercy, maintaining its offices in London, Berlin and Barcelona.

Late last year Gramercy Europe CEO Alistair Calvert led the management buyout of the company from Blackstone, which had earlier acquired its US parent Gramercy Property Trust.

Calvert established Gramercy Europe in 2006, originally named ThreadGreen Partners before being acquired by Gramercy Property Trust in 2014.

Calvert will continue to lead the European business, which has in recent months being acquiring logistics properties on behalf of the Gramercy Property Europe III fund. Most recently, it acquired assets in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Clarion Partners has $50bn (€40.3bn) in assets under management and is majority owned by Legg Mason.

David Gilbert, CEO of Clarion Partners, said: “We are very excited to broaden the investment reach of Clarion Partners into the European markets.

“Clarion Gramercy and its seasoned team are a natural extension of Clarion’s leadership position in the US, managing a $16bn, 700-property portfolio of logistics assets.

“We are pleased to be in position to expand our product offerings to investors and to satisfy existing tenants that have needs beyond the Americas.”

Calvert said: “We plan to continue capitalising on the expansion of the undersupplied European logistics property market and leveraging the deep relationships that we have built with some of Europe’s leading businesses.

“We expect ongoing demand from a range of occupiers that span Europe and US, fueled by the growth in ecommerce and expanded trade.

“We are excited by the synergies created by joining the Clarion Partners investment management platform, and we look forward to enhancing our global investment management business.”