ASR REIM Launches €1.1 Billion Seeded ASR Dutch Prime Retail Fund

Fund provides immediate exposure to a diverse portfolio of over 210 prime retail assets

ASR Real Estate Investment Management (ASR REIM) is launching its new fund the ASR Dutch Prime Retail Fund (the Fund) targeting commitments from global institutional investors in 2011.

About the Fund
The Fund will be seeded by a core portfolio valued at approximately Euro 1.1 billion, currently owned by ASR Nederland N. V. (ASR Netherlands), the third largest insurance company in the Netherlands. This will provide investors immediate exposure to a diverse and mature portfolio of 210 prime Dutch retail real estate assets let to 632 tenants. The seed portfolio consists of solitaire/single high street units, district shopping centres and supermarkets covering a lettable area of over 300,000 sqm. The portfolio also has a pipeline of attractive secured investment opportunities of Euro 280m.

The Fund will be a contractual mutual fund, governed by Dutch law, with an indefinite life. The Fund will maintain a low level of gearing in order to provide liquidity for the Fund Manager and enable redemptions for investors. The Fund is set up in line with INREV Guidelines to ensure best practice reporting and ongoing transparency for investors.

ASR Netherlands remains committed to the portfolio as a cornerstone investor. It has brought this opportunity to the market to create more flexibility to its real estate portfolio, without breaking up the critical mass of the holdings, which have been amassed over more than 100 years.

Dick Gort, CEO at ASR REIM, “The launch of the ASR Dutch Prime Retail Fund is a strong signal to the market of our future ambitions and, over time we anticipate bringing additional Dutch funds of a similar high quality to the market for institutional investors from other real estate sectors. Our team has successfully managed a complex and diverse portfolio worth approximately Euro 4.0bn for ASR Netherlands for many years and we look forward to generating similar returns for our new investors. In structuring the fund, we have laid great emphasis on governance, setting it up in line with INREV Guidelines to ensure we adhere to best practice, as well as putting in place an innovative liquidity mechanism.”

Dutch retail market
Dutch retail property is a well-established, stable asset class, underpinned by a strong track record. Performance of the sector is driven by its supply/demand imbalance for high quality retail real estate space, partly due to the country’s high population density and strict zoning policies, delivering both investment performance and income return. Compared to the Eurozone IPD Retail Index average, Total Returns for retail over the last 10 years in the Netherlands is 9.6% compared to 8.0% for Eurozone. The Netherlands retail market is characterised by outperforming income growth and low volatility capital growth, which has resulted in positive total returns for the last 10 years

To date, ASR REIM has been the dedicated in-house manager for ASR Netherlands, managing its office, retail, residential and agricultural land holdings, valued at approximately Euro 4.0 bn. With its fund, asset and in-house property management teams, ASR REIM has a significant experience and track record in Dutch real estate market.

ASR REIM’s CEO Dick Gort and Managing Director of Commercial Real Estate Bas Tiemstra will act as the board of the Fund’s management company. Bas Tiemstra will also lead the fund management team, which will continue to attract exciting and good quality retailers to ensure that the portfolio remains prime in the local market.

CB Richard Ellis Indirect Investment Service Limited is acting as Placement Agent to the Fund.

Mark Evans, Head of Equity Placement, CBRE, “The Dutch market is dominated by traditional town centre shopping locations in which the supply of new quality retail space is scarce due to strict zoning regulations. This fund provides investors with the opportunity to gain instant exposure to a portfolio with a strong track record of income and capital growth over a long period, which cannot be replicated. With added upside built in from a pipeline of compelling development and asset management opportunities, and under ASR REIM’s stewardship, this strength of offering has not been seen in the market for some time.”

For more information please contact Marco Hekman or Casper van Grieken.