Grosvenor Group, the privately owned international property group, has made its first investment commitment to sub-Saharan Africa.
The investment, in RMB Westport Real Estate Development Fund II, has been made by the Group’s Indirect Investment team, whose remit is to enable Grosvenor to access investment opportunities with third-party managers with specialist expertise that complements those of the Group’s Operating Companies.
RMB Westport is a real estate investment management and development firm, focused on creating real estate developments to international standards in sub-Saharan African cities. Grosvenor’s investment is in RMB Westport’s second fund, which will develop a combination of shopping centers, office buildings and industrial assets, targeting primarily Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and the Ivory Coast. The total capital raised in the initial close for Fund II is over $200m.
Commenting on the deal, Mark Preston, Chief Executive of the Grosvenor Group, said:
“This investment reflects our ambition to continue to diversify the Grosvenor Group. We have been keeping abreast of the opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa for some time and think that now is the right time to start investing in the region. It is a significant step for Grosvenor and I hope that we will increase our investment in the region over the long-term.”
Chris Taite, Grosvenor Group Investment Director, added:
“The investment in RMB Westport is a unique opportunity for Grosvenor to gain exposure to a growing market in a region that lacks [sufficient supply of] high-grade office, retail and industrial space. RMB Westport’s city-focused approach is aligned with ours and we are confident that the strength of their local knowledge and their proven track record in the region will deliver strong risk-adjusted returns for the business.”
Africa has a rapidly growing urban population. According to UN Habitat , around 500 million Africans live in urban centers and there are over 65 African cities with a population of more than a million people. However the developing consumer market is underprovided for, meaning that there are opportunities in the region for investment growth and strong investment returns.
Source: Grosvenor – 2016