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Willis Bond draws $128 million to real estate fund

Published 2 July 2010

Willis Bond & Co Ltd aimed for $100 million for a private equity real estate fund but closed it yesterday at $128 million.


The fund was established to capitalise on attractive development & investment opportunities in the New Zealand commercial real estate market.


Investors in the fund, Willis Bond Capital Partners (Capital Partners), include commitments from the Guardians of NZ Superannuation and the Government Superannuation Fund.


Willis Bond managing director Mark McGuinness said: “We are delighted with the success of the capital-raising and with the commitment we have received from investors in a market where both debt & equity are being carefully rationed.


“We established Capital Partners to invest in value-add real estate opportunities. These are likely to include joint ventures with current land & property owners, including corporates, iwi & councils. It is a great opportunity for Willis Bond to partner with landowners looking to develop, who may not have   property development expertise.”


Willis Bond’s track record in multi-use property developments includes the Chews Lane precinct, the NZX Centre, Free Ambulance Building & Shed 22 in Wellington.


Mr McGuiness said: “We believe our experience in the market in delivering quality mixed-use development projects, our proven ability to add value and the increasingly realistic pricing of real estate assets & opportunities will deliver attractive returns.


“Willis Bond is in a position to capitalise on the macro-economic market conditions which have resulted in reduced liquidity, distressed finance companies and banks with shrinking balance sheets. A lot of competition has been removed from the market.


“The global financial crisis has produced attractive opportunities for those with capital. Capital Partners is one of the few places where equity is available for quality developments as the banks ration available funds.


“While the current economic climate is still fragile, history has shown that funds established in down-times, and ones that buy in such times, tend to outperform those formed in boom years that pay top prices for their investments. That timing factor, combined with our experience in the market, underpins the offer.”


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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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