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La Française launches French real estate platform for institutionals

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La Française is launching a new platform dedicated to French real estate and aimed at global institutional investors.

The new entity, La Française Real Estate Partners, will look to invest as much as €2bn in French commercial real estate over the next three years and €200m by year-end, covering a range of core/core-plus, value-added and opportunistic strategies.

It will be 35% owned by management and 65% owned by La Française Real Estate Managers.

Its chief executive, Marc Bertrand, told IPE sister publication IP Real Estate that it was time to increase staff numbers and products with the French market bottoming out and increased appetite from institutional investors.

He said: “The moment is right – at the end of crisis – to enlarge our product range.”

La Française, he added, would look to both French and international institutions for backing.

Patrice Genre, founder and former managing director at DTZ Asset Management, has been recruited to run the joint venture.

Genre said: “We have seen appetite from investors for London and Germany. They want to invest in France but are desperately looking for asset managers, which France lacks.

“You have many small teams offering asset management and then a few larger names.

“We want to offer something entrepreneurial but with the security of being a bigger entity.”

La Française Real Estate Partners will target returns of 5-6% for core real estate, 10-12% for value-added and 18% for opportunistic.

It will focus on Paris and large French cities, particularly offices, followed by retail and industrial properties.

The entity will sit alongside La Française’s European network, which, Bertrand said, should allow sharing of clients.

Earlier this year, La Française and Forum Partners acquired pan-European fund manager Cushman & Wakefield Investors, renaming it La Française Forum Real Estate Partners.

La Française, which manages $9bn (€6.6bn) in French property, bought a 24.9% stake in Forum Partners last year.

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