Doughty raises 560m for second property fund

Doughty Hanson has closed Doughty Hanson & Co European Real Estate II on €560m, just under a year since it launched.

The fund, which exceeded the €500m of its predecessor, will follow a similar strategy, namely seeking out under-exploited assets, applying efficient portfolio management and exiting within a relatively short time frame. The fund will focus on France, the Germanic region, Italy, the Nordic region and the UK.

The geographic spread sees LPs from Europe, Australia, the US, Canada and the Middle East committing to the fund, including existing and new investors. Doughty Hanson & Co and the Real Estate team have committed to invest €60m in the fund.

Head of Doughty Hanson & Co European Real Estate, John Howard said: “We are pleased to have received such positive interest in the Fund. We have a strong team of real estate professionals and the strategy for Fund II is more of the same, investing throughout Europe and creating value through active management.”

The fund is 20% invested and has so far made four investments with a total of €110m of equity committed. In July it invested €9m in a complex of historical buildings in Rome which it aims to turn into 76 residential apartments. In May it participated in a SEK2bn (€216m) acquisition of a portfolio of office properties in the Kista area of Stockholm. April saw the fund pay around €11m for a site in Brescia, Italy, where it plans to develop residential apartments. It made its first investment in December 2005, when it invested £24m in a £125m deal for a portfolio of 19 commercial buildings at Kings Hill Business Park in Kent in the UK in a joint venture with Liberty Property Trust.

Doughty Hanson & Co European Real Estate Fund I closed in 2000 and to date has made 21 investments, of which 16 have been either realised or partially realised, giving the fund an overall realised return of 3.1x on the cash invested and a gross realised IRR of 42%.