GreenOak Real Estate Acquires Grafton Advisors
20 July 2016
GreenOak Real Estate is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of Grafton Advisors from Quintain Limited, which is wholly owned by Lone Star Real Estate Fund IV.
Grafton is the property adviser to the West End of London Property Unit Trust (WELPUT) and was founded by Nigel Kempner, its Managing Director. WELPUT was established in 2001 in partnership with Schroder Real Estate and is the top performing fund in the Association of Real Estate Funds Index over the past 10 years. The eight-person specialist Central London team will retain the Grafton Advisors name with Nigel Kempner as Managing Director, Ker Gilchrist as Property Director and Christopher Cope as Development Director. Grafton will continue to operate as an independent Central London specialist asset, property and development management business with a focus on providing best-in-class service to WELPUT.
Schroders and the Holders Advisory Committee of WELPUT have been involved in the discussions with GreenOak.
Angus Dodd, Chief Executive of Quintain Limited, commented: “We have entertained a number of approaches for Grafton over the last six months and we are pleased to have completed this sale. We know GreenOak well and consider that the team, led by Nigel Kempner, will work very successfully with its new shareholder. We wish the Grafton team the very best and are confident they will continue to build on asset quality and returns for WELPUT’s investors”.
Nigel Kempner, Managing Director of Grafton, commented: “We are excited to be joining GreenOak, with whom I have worked closely over a number of years, particularly with regard to the refurbishment, repositioning and sale of Devonshire House in the heart of Mayfair. We are looking forward to continuing to grow the portfolio and performance of WELPUT for its investors over the next few years and this deal, post Brexit, shows that London still holds the confidence of international investors”.
Toby Phelps, European Head of Investing at GreenOak, commented: “John Carrafiell and I have known Nigel for a long time and are thrilled to have him and the Grafton team join us at GreenOak at this interesting time in the London market. Having sold 100% of GreenOak’s Central London office exposure in 2014/2015, our contrarian approach has positioned us to expand by acquiring Grafton, one of London’s only independent specialist operating teams. In our prior work with Grafton, we saw their exceptional in-house property management, leasing, operations, planning and development management skills, which have helped produce strong results for WELPUT investors over the past 1, 3, 5 and 10-year periods.
“The acquisition is additive and complementary to our existing team. Grafton’s approach mirrors our own: vertically integrated as operators, focusing narrowly on a large gateway market which they penetrate deeply, deploying specialist skills and leveraging their longstanding local knowledge and relationships to their competitive advantage. We are excited to assist Grafton’s sustained focus on delivering outstanding property services to WELPUT and striving for continued benchmark outperformance”.
Leon Partners advised Quintain on the sale.