UK’s Venn agrees real estate debt joint venture with Singapore’s ARA

The deal will see ARA take a majority stake in Venn and assist with its expansion.

Venn Partners has launched a joint venture with ARA Asset Management to invest in real assets credit markets in Europe.

The deal will see ARA, a Singapore-headquartered manager of real assets funds with more than S$83 billion ($61.6 billion; €55.5 billion) of assets under management, take a majority equity stake in Venn and replace Siem Industries as its corporate partner. The remaining equity in Venn will continue to be held by its management team.

Called ARA Venn, the joint venture will focus on investments in real assets credit across Europe, building on Venn’s existing business.

UK-based Venn, founded in 2009, is a specialist investment manager in private debt in the real asset sector. It has combined AUM and investment mandates of £5 billion ($6.5 billion; €5.9 billion). Its current strategies include a UK government-backed lending programme for private sector rental housing, high-yield strategies in UK and European commercial real estate debt and residential mortgage finance in the UK and Netherlands.

ARA will provide cornerstone capital and working capital to assist Venn in expanding into new products and geographies.

Commenting on the company’s growth plans, Venn’s joint managing partner, Paul House, said: “We’ve been looking to expand by doing more in UK residential property lending and we hope to launch a follow-up to Venn Partners Commercial Real Estate I. We also intend to launch a new product for our consumer mortgage business in the UK.”

The deal is also expected to expand the geographic reach of Venn’s investor base. House added: “Tapping into the pool of Asian capital can be challenging for smaller asset managers and the partnership with ARA will really help to forge ties with institutions there.”

It is the second business partnership in Europe for ARA, following a July 2019 deal with Dunedin Property Asset Management to create ARA Dunedin, which invests and manages real estate assets in the UK.