Savills Investment Management the international real estate investment manager, has launched the Mercury Fund which it will manage on behalf of Conad, the largest consortium of independent retailers in Italy, and Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni, a leading Italian insurance company.
The fund is structured to allow three Conad co-operatives to sell and lease back retail properties worth a combined eur 300 million across central and northern Italy on long-term leases. This will enable Conad to focus on its core retail activities in Italy, accelerating the growth that has characterized its strategy in recent years. The fund consists of three sub-funds (divided as per the assets of the three co-operatives), each managed by Savills IM SGR. The Fund meets the investment objectives of Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni in an era of low interest rates, ensuring stable dividends over a long term horizon. Each of the three Conad co-operatives possess a 49% stake in each of their sub-funds, with Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni holding the remaining share of 51%.
A preliminary loan of eur 170 million has been granted to the fund by the two leading Italian banking groups, Banca IMI (Gruppo Intesa) and Unicredit. “We are proud to have actively contributed to the development and execution of this important project, which consolidates over 12 months of work and underlines our reputation as an independent operator with highly specialised resources and a long-term strategic vision. It represents a significant milestone for our activities in Italy, which traditionally were focused on the development of initiatives aimed mainly at foreign investors in the Italian market”, says Giuseppe Oriani, managing director of Savills IM SGR. Savills IM SGR is the Italian regulated subsidiary of Savills IM and part of the Savills Group. One of the leading Italian real estate fund management companies, it has a team of 28 professionals based in Italy and manages over eur 2 billion of assets.