- EQT Real Estate and Sigma Capital launch joint venture to create a GBP 1 billion investment portfolio of 3,000 high-quality “build-to-rent” (“BTR”) residential homes at market rental rates in more affordable areas of Greater London
- The joint venture constitutes EQT Real Estate’s first UK investment and combines its thematic focus on “beds and sheds” in European gateway cities with a social impact strategy underpinned by EQT’s industry-leading sustainability credentials
- The joint venture launches having secured five sites from one of the UK’s premier homebuilders, Countryside Properties, and has agreed to purchase two additional BTR sites from Sigma Capital upon their completion
- Initial financing provided by Homes England, the housing agency of the UK Government
EQT Real Estate today announced the launch of a joint venture (the “JV”) with Sigma Capital Group plc (“Sigma Capital” or “Sigma”), a London-listed residential development and urban regeneration specialist. The JV will focus on the creation of new-build, high-quality well-located BTR residential apartment blocks and houses in more affordable parts of Greater London and its commuter towns. The homes will be predominantly located in transport Zones 3-6 and in close proximity to transport links, including train access to central London.
Completed homes will be let at market-rate rents under Sigma’s ‘Simple Life London’ brand, which aims to bring a higher standard of customer care and convenience to the private rental market. Sigma has pioneered BTR in the UK and to date has successfully delivered and manages in excess of 4,200 rental homes across the UK.
EQT Real Estate and Sigma have initially committed equity of GBP 300 million and GBP 16 million, respectively, to the JV. Including gearing, it is intended that the JV will have an initial capacity to establish an investment portfolio of approximately 3,000 homes with a total value in excess of GBP 1 billion. The JV has secured five projects with an aggregate of 361 homes from Countryside Properties plc (“Countryside Properties”) located in the London boroughs of Ealing, Enfield and Havering. In addition, two further sites currently under development by Sigma in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering will be acquired by the JV on completion. These two sites together will comprise an additional 157 homes and are expected to be completed during H1 2021. The JV’s assets are expected to be delivered over a period of at least five years in order to create a stabilized portfolio of diversified rental income.
The initial acquisitions will be financed with a GBP 50 million loan facility from Homes England, the UK Government’s housing body that is responsible for increasing the number of new homes that are built in England and sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. EQT Real Estate, Sigma and Homes England share the same vision of delivering thousands of new rental homes in London where there is a critical undersupply of affordable, high-quality rental properties.
Consistent with other EQT Real Estate transactions, the JV will invest in buildings with strong sustainability credentials. Where possible, buildings will tap into local community heating networks and will utilize photovoltaic panels. The JV will also promote sustainable living practices within the apartments themselves, while the schemes will include ample cycle storage and will typically be located near green outdoor areas, an important wellness factor.
Peter Shacalis, Director at EQT Partners and Head of UK, EQT Real Estate, said: “EQT Real Estate is thrilled to be entering the London residential market, one with a severe supply shortage of professionally managed, high-quality, good value homes to rent, with Sigma Capital. In addition to the initial seven schemes, we are currently evaluating a growing pipeline of projects in Greater London to build a large scale, resilient and downside-protected institutional BTR portfolio with robust and diversified rental income. EQT Real Estate looks forward to partnering with the Sigma team to realise our shared vision over the coming years.”
Rob Rackind, Partner at EQT Partners and Head of EQT Real Estate, said: “This joint venture with Sigma Capital marks an exciting entrance into the UK for EQT Real Estate as it represents the first transaction in this market since the business line was established in 2015. I cannot think of a more compelling investment opportunity at the moment than to deploy capital into this high conviction strategy, and one that should deliver significant social impact, by providing market-rate housing to renters in affordable locations within Greater London and its commuter towns with strong transport links.”
Graham Barnet, CEO of Sigma Capital, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our delivery of new rental homes in the UK with the launch of our London-focused joint venture with EQT Real Estate, a strong and visionary partner. Homes England, which has supported Sigma with every major initiative to deliver the new housing that is much needed across the country, is also providing invaluable backing to the joint venture. Once again, Homes England is leading the market in its support for organizations looking to deliver homes at scale in the UK. We are also pleased to be working with Countryside Properties in Greater London to replicate the success of our partnership in the regions. We look forward to delivering thousands of high-quality new rental homes across the Capital with our partners at EQT Real Estate and providing London renters with a higher standard of customer care.”
Iain McPherson, Group Chief Executive, Countryside Properties, said: “We are delighted to have expanded our strategic relationship with Sigma and its new partner, EQT Real Estate, to deliver much-needed PRS homes within London. Our Partnerships business has a proven track record, and, together with our clear strategy for growth, we look forward to continuing to work with our partners as we focus on the delivery of high quality and sustainable mixed-tenure communities.”
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “This Government is committed to delivering 300,000 new homes a year in England by the mid-2020s, ensuring everyone has the opportunity for a decent and secure place to call home.
“These 3,000 new homes, backed by £50 million from our housing accelerator Homes England, will help us deliver for families across Greater London.”
Simon Dudley, Interim Chair at Homes England, said: “We are excited to be strengthening our work with Sigma Capital. By supporting their joint venture with EQT Real Estate we are using our resources to accelerate the delivery of much needed high-quality rental accommodation and unlock substantial private sector investment in the housing sector.”
Taylor Wessing acted as legal advisor for EQT Real Estate.
Peter Shacalis, Director at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Real Estate, +44 786 027 1392
Rob Rackind, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Real Estate, +44 786 027 1392
UK media enquiries: Greenbrook, [email protected], +44 20 7952 2000
EQT Press Office, [email protected], +46 8 506 55 334
Sigma Capital Group
Graham Barnet, Chief Executive, +44 20 3178 6378
Mike McGill, Finance Director, +44 0333 999 9926
KTZ Communications, Katie Tzouliadis, +44 20 3178 6378
EQT is a differentiated global investment organization with more than EUR 62 billion in raised capital and around EUR 40 billion in assets under management across 19 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America with total sales of more than EUR 27 billion and approximately 159,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.
About EQT Real Estate
EQT Real Estate, part of EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT managed real estate funds, seeks direct and indirect controlling interests in value-add real estate assets, portfolios, operating companies and platforms across gateway cities in the UK and Europe that offer significant potential for value creation through repositioning, redevelopment, refurbishment and active asset management. The EQT Real Estate Advisory Team comprises 26 experienced Investment Advisory Professionals working out of EQT’s offices in London, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Stockholm. The Investment Advisory Team, which has access to the full EQT network including 11 European offices and more than 500 EQT Advisors, has experience analyzing and investing across the pan-European real estate market and has, collectively, advised on over 130 real estate projects in multiple asset classes across Europe.
Sigma has created an unrivalled property platform, which sources sites and brings together construction resource to develop them, enabling Sigma to deliver an integrated solution to partners. As well as sourcing sites and managing all stages of the planning and development process, Sigma also manages the rental of completed homes through its award-winning rental brand ‘Simple Life’. The Company’s subsidiary, Sigma PRS Management Limited, is Investment Adviser to The PRS REIT plc, the real estate investment trust that is investing £0.9bn in a portfolio of high-quality new rental homes for private rental across the regions.
More info: www.sigmacapital.co.uk