Citywire - For Professional Investors

Register free for our breaking news email alerts with analysis and cutting edge commentary from our award winning team. Registration only takes a minute.

Singapore fund manager buys major stake in private debt firm

Singapore fund manager buys major stake in private debt firm

Singapore-based ARA Asset Management has struck a deal that grants it access into Europe’s large and diverse real estate credit market.

The real assets fund manager said it has acquired a majority stake in Venn Partners, a European real estate private debt specialist with assets and active mandates totaling £5bn ($6bn).

ARA, which manages SGD 88bn ($61m), completed the acquisition via its subsidiary, ARA UK Asset Management.

The deal comes shortly after the duo established a joint venture, ARA Venn, last December, to create and manage real estate credit strategies in Europe.

With this new partnership, ARA Venn will further build on Venn’s existing capabilities focused on prime direct lending opportunities.

The London-based firm currently has a government-backed lending programme into private sector rental housing, value add strategies in UK and European commercial real estate debt, and residential mortgage finance in the Netherlands.

Mark Ebbinghaus, CEO of ARA Europe and chairman of ARA Venn, said this is the group’s first venture into European real estate credit. 

‘In the current and likely near term volatile market environment driven by reactions to the global pandemic, the real assets credit market is viewed as a positive space to be in, particularly for participants with committed undeployed capital, and those with established track record managing government programmes,’ he said.

ARA mostly manages listed and unlisted Reits and private real estate and infrastructure funds. The firm entered Europe in 2018.

In July 2019, it acquired a majority stake in Dunedin Property Asset Management to manage real estate assets in the UK.

Last month, it partnered with The Straits Trading Company and JL Family Office to launch the SGD 5m ($6m) SME Help fund to help local small and medium-sized enterprises in Singapore impacted by COVID-19 outbreak.