Global asset manager Schroders is broadening its real estate debt business in Australia with the acquisition of a majority stake in commercial real estate lender RF Eclipse.

Schroders is planning to buy a 50.1% ownership stake in the alternative lender from current owner RF Group, who will retain 49.9% ownership. Financial details were undisclosed.

Established in 1999, RF Eclipse operates as an integrated platform with capabilities across loan origination, loan management and funds management. The business was acquired in June 2016 by the RF Capital Group.

RF Eclipse currently manages approximately $300m in assets including assets for the Schroder Real Estate Debt Fund for which it has run an investment mandate since November 2019.

Once the deal is completed, RF Eclipse will be renamed Schroder RF, Schroders said.

Schroder RF will provide Australian investors, including private wealth and family office clients, with broader access to private real estate debt markets.

Chris Durack, co-CEO for Schroders Asia Pacific, said the joint venture will enable Schroders to offer new debt solutions to a wider client set, with Schroder RF playing an important role in accelerating Schroders’ private assets strategy in Australia.

“Its standalone structure facilitates a specialised focus in real estate, allowing the Schroders team to remain focused on managing and growing our existing business.

“Partnering with Schroders represents an opportunity for the RF Group to access global scale and resources as well as deep local investment expertise.”

Andrew Roberts, principal, RF Capital Management, said: “Schroder RF represents a key strategic opportunity for our group. With mutually complementary strengths and a clear and aligned strategy, there is a strong foundation for success and growth.”

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