Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) is moving into Australia’s real estate debt markets with the acquisition of Newground Capital Partners.

The €47.2bn alternative asset manager has been managing UK real estate debt funds since it acquired Longbow Real Estate Capital in 2011 and last year hired Philippe Deloffre from BNP Paribas Asset Management to lead its activities in Europe.

Newground specialises in mid-market real estate financing in Australia, investing across the capital structure.

It has a team of seven based in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and led by Daniel Erez.

The merged company, known as ICG-Newground, will gain access to ICG’s balance sheet and its third-party institutional capital.

ICG said it will underwrite loans of A$30m to A$200m (€127m) for owners of value-add, stabilised and construction assets.

The business will launch an institutionally focused fund in the third quarter to capitalise on the growing interest in real estate debt amongst Australian investors.

Erez will become head of real estate Australia and New Zealand.

Martin Wheeler, co-head of ICG’s real estate business, said: “We are excited about the acquisition of Newground, which is a further positive step in the growth of ICG’s real estate strategy and footprint in Australia.

“We are looking forward to working with such an entrepreneurial management team to realise the attractive opportunities in the Australian real estate market.”

He added: “Dan and the Newground team share our investment philosophy and the deal builds upon our track record of hiring and retaining the best talent and helping them develop and grow a leading franchise.”

Erez said: “The Newground team is delighted to be joining ICG. We are looking forward to combining our deep experience of investing in Australian real estate, and benefitting from ICG’s breadth of experience, rigorous investment culture and its institutional investment management infrastructure”.

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