Standard Life Investments' UK Property Development Fund Raises £167m at Launch

31 January 2007

Standard Life Investments, one of the largest property fund managers in Europe, today announced that it has successfully launched its UK Property Development Fund at a size of £334m following the raising of £167m in equity from a wide range of institutional investors.

Discussions are ongoing with two investors. However, limited opportunities exist to admit additional investors before the end of the discretionary closing period at the beginning of March, where equity in the fund will be capped at £200m.

The fund has three development projects under offer which amount to approximately £117m of the geared capital of the fund. All three projects are prime town centre office schemes where Standard Life Investments forecasts occupational demand will be the strongest. With a maximum life span of seven years, Standard Life Investments expects the fund to be fully committed in three years with the aim to return proceeds to investors within five years. It is intended to have between five and ten projects thus ensuring a level of project diversification that will maximise potential returns while limiting specific risk.

The closed-ended fund will be geared 50% loan to cost and is managed by Daniel McHugh, Head of UK Property Development. The fund is designed to provide investors with access to commercial property backed alpha returns through a diversified portfolio of development projects and is aimed at UK and Overseas institutional investors.

It is anticipated that the fund should achieve an internal rate of return of 20% per annum for investors. Standard Life Investments has aligned its interests with those of investors through a fee structure that is performance orientated.
Daniel McHugh, Manager of the UK Property Development Fund, Standard Life Investments, said:

"I'm very pleased that we've managed to attract such high calibre investors in such a short time. In many ways it's recognition of our expertise and track record within the development arena and testimony to the strength of the investment proposition the fund offers.

"With a target three year investment period for the fund, I'm also delighted to announce that at launch we've secured projects that will commit almost a third of the fund's expected size. All three of the projects are quality prime office schemes; a sector which we believe will deliver the best development returns from the market. These developments should ensure that the key attributes of the fund are established from the very start - high absolute returns but with the risk diversified and managed through a portfolio of projects.

"We will continue to be active in seeking out further high quality developments before the end of the investment period, and I look forward to announcing these opportunities in due course."