Citivale's managing partners Rupert Kay, Rebecca Farnsworth and James Appleton-Metcalfe. Credit: via Flashbulb

Partners Group takes stake in Citivale

Global investor Partners, already backing the York-headquartered industrial developer’s ESG-led Greenbox programme, has acquired a strategic minority stake in the firm.

The terms of the investment were undisclosed.

Citivale was founded in 2010 by James Appleton-Metcalfe, and currently manages in excess of 5m sq ft of floor area across multiple assets in the UK.

The leadership team includes two further partners, Rupert Kay and Rebecca Farnsworth, and the business will continue to operate independently under the management of the three partners.

Citivale manages assets for a broad group of institutional investors and family offices from the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

Founded in 1996, Partners Group has US$147bn in assets under management, including US$17bn in real estate, run from offices in Switzerland, Singapore and Denver, Colorado.

Partners said it has made this investment as part of a new strategy to invest in real estate operating companies and their management teams in order to gain exposure to the full value chain across the asset lifecycle.

The partners already have two Greenbox schemes live, in Thirsk – where 365,000 sq ft was consented last autumn – and Darlington.

Stephen McCall, global head of platforms & opcos for Partners Group, said: “The real estate investment landscape is undergoing a period of significant change. This is presenting new opportunities to capitalise on the evolving demands of tenants driven by growth in sectors such as e-commerce.

“At Partners Group, we are adopting an entrepreneurial mindset to increase the operational intensity of real estate and build a more integrated relationship with our operating partners and platforms in high conviction sectors. We look forward to working with Citivale, which has a strong track record and extensive local knowledge in logistics.”

The Greenbox programme offers sustainable space for tenants. Credit: via Flashbulb

James Appleton-Metcalfe, founding partner, Citivale, said: “We are delighted to strengthen our existing relationship with Partners Group through this strategic minority investment, which will further allow us to continue building out our team and expand the breadth of our client offering, which has delivered year-on-year AuM growth since inception.

“The significant correction in the UK logistics market since mid-2022 presents a generational investment opportunity for Citivale to accelerate its growth by sourcing opportunities for both existing and new clients. Partners Group’s investment is an incredible endorsement of our hard-working team and our established investment and development track record.”

As part of the transaction, Partners Group has appointed George Craven, a 40-year veteran with senior roles at Roundhill, Arcadis nd Balfour Beatty under his belt, to Citivale’s board as a non-executive director.

Craven said: “I am excited to join Citivale as it looks to continue the strong growth trajectory that it has achieved to-date as a specialist operating partner. In particular, the focus on delivering best-in-class sustainable buildings in the UK market within the Greenbox JV aligns closely with the urgent need to deliver decarbonized real estate.”

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