A London-based team at CIM Group will expand the Los Angeles firm’s real estate debt solutions platform to Europe, officials announced this week.
The firm’s initial goal is to grow its $10 billion real estate debt portfolio via whole loan origination on transitional assets as well as core mezzanine loans across the UK and key Western European countries. The UK team, established in 2021, is targeting loan sizes between £75 million and £200 million ($91 million and $243 million) for whole loans and £20 million and £50 million ($24 million and $61 million) for core mezzanine loans that will be made under the firm’s existing fund mandates.
The 30-strong credit team is growing, and CIM plans to expand its European credit strategy to also include ground-up development financings in the future. The European Real Estate Debt Solutions business builds on the firm’s already established U.S.-based debt solutions unit, which provided more than $3.8 billion in commercial real estate loans last year.
“We are already leveraging our strong sponsor relationships as well as in-house expertise across development, leasing, property management and capital markets to underwrite business and development plans for high-quality assets in key European markets, and our growing European team is already evaluating opportunities to meet the demand for private debt capital in this attractive region,” said Richard Ressler, co-founder and principal of CIM Group.
According to CIM Group, the opportunity spectrum in Europe includes €150 billion ($161 billion) of debt across European property firms that is estimated to mature by 2025. Importantly, the availability of traditional bank capital is more difficult to obtain in light of regulatory requirements in European banks.
In October 2021, CIM Group — a real estate and infrastructure owner, operation, lender and developer — entered the Western European real estate market with the acquisition of Cathedral Square, a three-building office campus in Guildford, UK. CIM’s investments span office, residential, retail and logistics properties in select metropolitan markets.