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Peakside Capital launches as real estate private equity firm

Peakside Capital has launched as real estate private equity firm by former senior managers of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The transaction included the acquisition by Peakside of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s 100 per cent indirect interest in the general partner of the Merrill Lynch European Real Estate Opportunity Fund, which has a total of EUR261m of capital commitments.

Peakside has replaced an affiliate of Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the manager of the fund.

Peakside has also acquired Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s interests in the general partner and investment manager of the Bosphorus Real Estate Fund I, which has a total of EUR204m of capital commitments.

A portfolio management agreement has been signed between Peakside and an affiliate of Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Peakside to manage a portfolio of European real estate investments held directly or indirectly by Bank of America Merrill Lynch affiliates.
 
In connection with the transaction, Merrill Lynch European Real Estate Opportunity Fund will be renamed Peakside Real Estate Fund I. Bank of America Merrill Lynch plans to maintain its limited partnership positions in both funds following the transaction.
 
Peakside has been newly created by the former senior managers of the European team of the Real Estate Principal Investments group within Bank of America Merrill Lynch, consisting of Roger Barris, Stefan Aumann, Boris Schran and Mark Fenchelle. The team was responsible for the management of the two real estate funds and the European Bank of America Merrill Lynch portfolio.

In addition to the senior managers, Peakside has employed 13 former members of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch group and plans to hire an additional four persons, including Christoph Munte, formerly of Morgan Stanley, who will join as general counsel and a member of the Peakside management committee.
 
Peakside has opened offices in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, the UK and Luxembourg. It will provide investment advisory, deal origination and execution, asset management and fund management services in real estate across Europe, including CEE and Turkey, to qualified investor clients such as institutions and high-net-worth individuals. 

Going forward, Peakside plans to raise discretionary funds, but also plans to take non-discretionary investment mandates from investors.
 
Barris, chairman of Peakside, says: “Peakside will launch as a mid-sized manager with a strong track record, an experienced team and the investment capacity needed to take advantage of the opportunities that are rapidly emerging in real estate in Europe.  This is a great opportunity for Peakside, our employees and our investors.  At the same time, the transaction will assure continuity of management for the two funds and the other BofAML real estate investments in Europe, helping to maximize the value of these assets.”

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