Germany's listed Patrizia acquires UK-based Rockspring, boosts AUM to €40bn

Patrizia Immobilien CEO Wolfgang Egger © AFP PHOTO / FRANK LEONHARDT GERMANY OUT FRANK LEONHARDT / DPA / AFP

In the second large German acquisition this week, listed Augsburg-based Patrizia announced Tuesday that it is buying the London-based real estate fund manager Rockspring, boosting managed assets to around €40bn.

No price details were given. However Patrizia said in a statement that it will publish details of the financial impact of the acquisition with its full year results in first quarter 2018. It expects the transaction to close at the end of first quarter at the latest and to be earnings accretive during 2018.

Fully independent and 100% owned by senior management and employees, Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP, established in 1984 by Richard Plummer, has gross assets under management of €7.9bn. It has offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Paris and Warsaw as well as client services offices in Seoul and Sydney.

Its 110-strong team manages investments primarily in the retail, office and industrial sectors, split between UK/Ireland (35%), Germany (34%) and France (13%), with the rest throughout Europe. Its fund base includes Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust, Rockspring PanEuropean Property Limited Partnership, Rockspring TransEuropean IV, V and VI, The Rockspring German Retail Box Fund, Rockspring UK Value Funds 1 and 2, while it also runs single client mandates.

Coming on the heels of the announcement Monday of the takeover of Austrian listed housing firm Buwog by German giant Vonovia, the Rockspring transaction is the latest in a series that Patrizia has undertaken. This started in 2010 with the acquisition Hamburg-based LB Immo Invest, one of Germany's largest real estate fund providers in the office and retail sectors, and was followed in 2013 with the purchase of London-based manager Tamar Capital. Most recently, in October and November respectively, it acquired global fund of funds provider SPI and investment manager TRIUVA.

"Rockspring has an outstanding track record and reputation for European property fund management and client services and is a perfect fit for Patrizia in terms of shared vision and culture and its focus on real estate business," said Patrizia Immobilien CEO Wolfgang Egger in a release. "This acquisition represents an important milestone for Patrizia in achieving our vision to become a global provider of European real estate assets for our clients."

He added: "Clients of Patrizia and Rockspring will benefit from access to a stronger independent platform which will offer broader access to markets and products while Patrizia will strengthen its market position significantly in its core European markets. Moreover the global client base is complementary and will allow both sides to profit from long-lasting trusted relationships which have been built on long-term performance. Patrizia has been preparing for the acquisitions of Rockspring, TRIUVA and SPI in a careful and strategic way for several months and I’m delighted that we have been able to finalise each of them this year. It represents a unique strategic opportunity to be able to bring the three businesses into Patrizia in one comprehensive integration process."

Rockspring CEO Robert Gilchrist commented: "Earlier this year a number of factors combined to make us realise it was the right time to start considering our future and prepare Rockspring for the next phase of its growth, a process which we are very pleased to say has resulted in our joining forces with Patrizia. The company is a strong fit, both culturally and strategically for Rockspring’s professionals; we share a similar vision, personality and strong entrepreneurial energy that will continue to differentiate us from competitors. Our joint client base will benefit from an expanded range of fund and investment opportunities in Europe, given the strength, range and diversity of skills within the combined businesses and its truly pan-European network of locally based real estate experts. Importantly, this will also ensure an uninterrupted continuation of our current business, managed by the same key people within the Rockspring team."

Gilchrist said that, like Patrizia, Rockspring has built a long and distinguished track record of pioneering real estate investment and fund management over 30 years. It now has a client base in excess of 120 institutional investors across 20 countries as well as recognised brands including Rockspring TransEuropean, Rockspring PanEuropean and Rockspring Hanover – all of which will remain unaffected and will continue in their current form post-merger.

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