Clearbell Capital attracts global capital to UK real estate despite Brexit 'headwinds'

Clearbell Capital has raised £310m (€355m) from global investors to make value-add real estate investments in the UK.

Clearbell Property Partners III attracted capital from the US, Australia, Europe, Middle East and South America.

Manish Chande, senior partner at Clearbell Capital, said the capital raise showed it was possible to attract investment to the UK despite the country’s impending departure from the EU.

“Though the Brexit vote has undeniably given overseas investors temporary cold feet towards UK value-add real estate strategies, we’ve been able to draw on our strong track record and in-depth knowledge of the UK market to attract investment in this fund,” he said.

“The headwinds have been very strong, but we have navigated these to achieve a successful raise.”

Clearbell Capital said 83% of the commitments for the fund came from existing investors. New investors included pension funds, not-for-profit organisations and high-net-worth individuals.

CPP III will follow a similar investment strategy to its predecessors, focusing on five investment themes. One is to exploit the gap between property yields and interest rates, especially in the logistics and industrial space.

The fund will also seek to capitalise on growing delivery demand by acquiring retail logistics assets and aggregating portfolios. Other themes include sourcing quality assets that require capital investment, and pursuing London office assets where value should emerge. It will also invest in residential and leisure accommodation where there is a lack of supply.

The fund has already made four investments, including Cara, a portfolio of 20 industrial and logistics assets worth approximately £100m, which it aggregated after making four separate acquisitions.

It also owns Taurus, a logistics portfolio acquired via two transactions. Clearbell plans to add to the portfolio with medium-sized and large logistics units.

The other assets are Edmund House in central Birmingham, which houses 78,000 sqft of office space and 10,000 sqft of retail and restaurant space, and The Sloane Club, 75,000 sqft private members’ club in Chelsea, London.

“Our team knows the UK market inside out and this shows in the deployment to date and in opportunities we continue to identify,” Chande said.

”Brexit has created investment opportunities in the UK for those willing to roll their sleeves up and focus on properties which require targeted and innovative solutions.

“Our first fund is substantially realised, the second is more than half realised, both are on target to deliver over double-digit gross returns to investors and for CPP III we will continue to target investments with above-average returns.”

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