Avignon Capital expands into Australia

Avignon Capital, the European property investment firm and asset manager, has received a new mandate to invest in Australia, where it will focus on office real estate and hotels. Having previously invested exclusively and successfully in Europe, Avignon Capital will target Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, where it is looking to expand its network.

Avignon Capital has enjoyed its most successful financial year to date, with 18 acquisitions and 7 disposals across Europe totalling a record €565m in deal volume. Disposals have included a number of triple-digit returns, such as the sale of its Copenhagen retail portfolio, which secured a 154% return on equity. Despite the uncertain political and economic environment, Avignon Capital has strengthened and diversified by expanding into the Netherlands, entering the hotel market and opening an office in Berlin.

Australia’s stable macroeconomic and investment climate makes it an ideal destination for Avignon Capital to continue with its business expansion. The Australian investment market experienced a buoyant 2016 and 2017, which looks set to continue: there has been a 94% increase in direct commercial real estate investment in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the previous quarter.

The firm has identified that Sydney and Melbourne’s office real estate market is particularly attractive and  the best performing in Australia, with PwC reporting that they have the highest projected rental growth of any city in the Asia-Pacific region at 3.8% and  3.7% respectively.

The hotel real estate market provides similarly strong opportunities for investment. Sydney and Melbourne boast more than 80% occupancy rates and have grown consistently over the past ten years as foreign tourism continues to increase. International arrivals to Australia are growing at over double the 3.9% growth rate for global outbound travel; since 2009, the number of international visitors grew by 44%.

Patrick Flaton, CFOO of Avignon Capital, said: “We are excited to announce our expansion into Australia, a market that we have identified as a prime investment opportunity. Australia’s vibrant, modern economy provides a perfect platform for us to invest during this growth phase.

Our talent lies in our ability to identify long-term trends and tailor our approach to clients’ specific needs. This is the key to our impressive returns, and we look forward to striking up good relationships with brokers whilst acquiring a portfolio of prime, cutting-edge commercial real estate.”   

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