A listed Eastern European property fund

Charlemagne Capital Limited has raised €30m for a private equity fund focused on investing in Eastern Europe property.

The fund, called the European Convergence Development Company (ECDC), intends to list on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange next year. The money raised so far will be co-invested alongside partner developers in projects in the target markets of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, with investments being made in residential, office and retail projects.

The fund is hoping to exploit the appetite in Western Europe for opportunities in Eastern European real estate. Charlemagne says that the last 12 months has seen a significant increase of institutional investors seeking completed property projects in the region. ECDC expects to sell its investments two to three years after being acquired.

This is the second specialist private equity real estate company launched by Charlemagne – in June 2005 it floated the European Convergence Property Company (ECPC) on AIM, raising €60m. ECPC invests in property in South-East Europe, particularly Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania by investing in high yielding completed property projects. Charlemagne intends ECPC is intended to have a seven year life with full investment expected to be reached early next year. In its first year it invested €112m through a combination of equity and debt.

Charlemagne manages a number of other non-private equity real estate funds, all focused on emerging markets, including Russia, Asia and Latin America. The firm is headquartered in London and has been listed on AIM since April 2006.