Aquila wins $500m global real asset mandate from Asia

Three newly built logistics centres in Germany have been acquired as the programme’s first investment.

Hamburg-based alternative asset manager Aquila Capital has been awarded a $500 million mandate to build a global portfolio of real assets.

The commitment comes from a large Asian institutional investor, the nature and identity of which Aquila declined to disclose. The funds are earmarked for investments in European real estate and global renewable energy projects.

The firm could see more such mandates come its way in the future, according to Roman Rosslenbroich, chief executive of Aquila Capital, who in a statement noted increased demand for bespoke real asset portfolios from institutional investors in Asia.

The programme has already signed its first investment, in the form of the $43 million acquisition of three newly-built logistics centres in Germany. The assets, located in Heidelberg/Leimen, Saarbrücken/St. Ingbert and Berlin, have been leased to German logistics group DHL for the next 15 years.

The award marks the second big mandate won by Aquila in recent months, after the firm set up a €500 million platform to invest in hydropower alongside Dutch fund administrator APG Asset Management last July. APG committed €250 million to a vehicle – totalling €500 million with debt financing – with Aquila responsible for operational and portfolio management.

In a March study, the asset manager said that a large number of European pension funds were looking to increase their exposure to real assets over the next three years. It also found that more than half of institutional investors in Europe saw direct ownership as the best way to exploit such opportunities, which were deemed most promising in infrastructure and real estate.