ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands - Rodamco N.V., the international property fund, is seeking to raise $250 million in debt financing in the U.S. market, to help finance new investments in Southeast Asia and continental Europe.
The 10-year issue received ratings of Aa3 from Moody's Investors Services and AA rating from Standard & Poor's. It is expected to yield less than 8% and will not be redeemable prior to maturity.
Rodamco, which is affiliated with the Robeco Group, one of Europe's leading money managers, has total assets of 8.7 billion guilders ($5.3 billion) and shareholders' equity of 8 billion guilders ($4.9 billion).
LONDON - Jones Lang Wootton Fund Management has raised (pounds) 31 million ($50 million) from the Railways and Unilever pension funds to invest in a new mezzanine finance vehicle.
The Real Ventures Property Partnership, believed to be unique for U.K. pension fund investors, in general will provide financing in the form of subordinated debt with an equity kicker. Thus, investors receive a modest yield plus the lure of potential upside gains, said Martyn Lewis, director at JLW Finance Ltd., who designed the product.
The fund also circumvents a tricky problem for U.K. pension funds, which are barred from using debt financing in real estate transactions. Instead, the 9 billion Railways Pension Fund and 3 billion Unilever PLC fund actually have purchased units in a pool, which in turn invests in deals made by the partnership.
Kathryn Long, investment manager at the Railways fund, which provided two-thirds of the commitments for the Real Ventures fund, said the vehicle offers the opportunity to provide capital to smaller property companies that can't get outside financing easily. These companies usually are very entrepreneurial in nature and can move quickly in markets, she said.
In its first deal, the fund provided nearly 6 million in mezzanine and equity financing for the 26 million purchase of 31 commercial and retail properties from Norwich Union Life Insurance Society, Norwich, England.
The portfolio, which was acquired by a 50/50 limited partnership between Real Ventures and Capital and Regional Properties PLC, offers the investors a 10%-plus yield plus half of the equity potential. Other deals are being considered, Mr. Lewis said.
Hartshead Ltd. and Hadrian-Solway Ltd. have merged to form the U.K.'s largest independent specialist pension administration firm.
The new firm, Hartshead Solway Ltd., will administer pension plans with more than 180,000 members from more than 90 U.K. clients.
Firm executives say pension administration increasingly is being outsourced. The combined firm's greater size will provide efficiencies of scale and greater range, quality and depth of services, said Roger Buttery, managing director.
Under the merger, Hartshead Ltd. acquired all of the shares of Hadrian-Solway.
Trust Co. of the West is creating TCW Asian Capital Partners, a new direct private equity fund that will be launched in early 1996. The fund will target direct, strategic investments, such as buy-outs of, and sizable minority positions in, growth-oriented companies in five Asian countries and Australia. The Asian markets will be India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Global and non-U.S. fixed-income managers sharply underperformed their benchmarks during the latest quarter and year, according to The WM Co.
During the first quarter, the WM Global Discretionary Universe posted an average return of 7.2%, well below the 10.9% and 10% targets set by the Salomon Brothers World Government and J.P. Morgan Global bond indexes.
Performance was hurt by high exposure to the U.S. dollar, substantial currency hedging losses and low exposure to the rising yen, leading to a -3.3 percentage point currency contribution.
For the 12-month period, the universe returned only 6.7%, compared with 13.5% for the Salomon universe and 12.1% for the J.P. Morgan benchmark.
Non-U.S. bond portfolios fared even worse. The WM International Discretionary Universe returned 8.2% during the first quarter, below the 14.4% and 14.1% returns for the Salomon Brothers Non-U.S. Government and the J.P. Morgan Global ex-U.S. bond indexes, respectively. Currency policy dragged returns down by five percentage points, largely because of low yen exposure and significant hedging losses.
For the year, the WM universe returned 8.8%, compared with 19% and 18.3% for the Salomon and J.P. Morgan benchmarks.