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La Française to buy 24.9% stake in Forum Partners as part of strategic partnership

Forum Partners Investment Management has entered into a strategic partnership with La Française, an affiliate of Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe, which calls for a substantial capital commitment to Forum’s global suite of real estate investment strategies. As part of the deal, La Française is buying a 24.9% stake in Forum, the statement says. CMNE and La Française is allocating over $600 million in capital across each of Forum’s principal investment strategies, beginning with over $200 million to Forum’s European debt platform. La Francaise will also commit capital to Forum’s global securities business, to its Asian private equity strategy and to potential expansion opportunities in the Americas.

PRESS RELEASE

Forum Partners and La Française enter into strategic partnership
Forum Partners Investment Management, LLC (“Forum”) and La Française, an affiliate of Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe (“CMNE”), today announce that, subject to regulatory approval, they have entered into a strategic partnership encompassing a substantial capital commitment to Forum’s global suite of real estate investment strategies and collaboration on a series of new European investment products, including a joint venture to develop European direct real estate products. In addition, La Française will acquire a 24.9% interest in Forum through an issuance of new shares.
Forum Partners is an independent global real estate investment management firm with $5.7 billion of capital committed and under advice. La Française is one of Europe’s largest fund managers, with assets under management of $50 billion of which $9 billion is in real estate.
The partnership will combine Forum’s global real estate private equity, debt and securities capabilities with La Française’s proven leadership in French direct real estate and senior debt. In support of this partnership, CMNE and La Française will allocate over $600 million in capital across each of Forum’s principal investment strategies, beginning with over $200 million to Forum’s European debt platform, including mezzanine and senior debt. La Francaise will also commit capital to Forum’s global securities business, to its Asian private equity strategy and to potential expansion opportunities in the Americas. In addition, both Forum and La Française will gain access to the other party’s institutional and retail distribution network globally.

Xavier Lepine, President of La Française, commented:
“Forum Partners’ expertise, unique approach to real estate investing and excellent international reputation in real estate private equity and listed securities complement our firm in terms of respective areas of expertise, geographic focus and client bases, and align closely with our objective to expand our real estate capabilities internationally. Through our strategic partnership with Forum we are confident that we can create a global platform that can successfully take on the exciting opportunities in real estate. We look forward to providing clients a complete and original range of real estate products and anticipate Forum will be a significant contributor to our international development”

Russell Platt, CEO of Forum Partners, commented:
“This new strategic partnership comes at an important time in the growth of Forum as well as the evolution of the real estate investment management industry. Volatile markets and on-going consolidation have presented extraordinary growth opportunities for firms with the foresight and experience to recognize the occasion. La Française is well-known for its real estate expertise as well as innovative product development and distribution. This partnership will prove invaluable to Forum as we continue to expand our products and capabilities for our capital partners.
Mr. Platt also stated, “As a global real estate firm, we have invested in the U.S. principally through public REITs.  We have looked for entry points to the private real estate market as well.  We believe that, while the U.S. has already begun to recover, market dislocations persist for small and mid size real estate companies. The expansion of Forum’s global platform and favourable market conditions mean we can begin evaluating private equity and debt investments with U.S. companies and sponsors in need of growth and restructuring capital where we can play a meaningful role as a strategic partner at this critical time in the property cycle.”

About Groupe La Française
For more than 35 years, La Française has been developing specific expertise as an investment manager of listed and unlisted securities and real estate assets while providing alongside this, comprehensive investment solutions. For more than 10 years, La Française has also been a major player in the acquisition of minority shareholdings. Using a long-term approach, the Groupe’s philosophy aims to incorporate tomorrow’s challenges in order to forge its current convictions.
La Française places the interests and satisfaction of its clients at the heart of its concerns. With more than $50 billion of assets under management, La Française possesses a solid and original shareholder base which includes its majority banking shareholder, Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe, and the Groupe’s management and employees. At the same time, it benefits from complete independence in carrying out its activities.

About Forum Partners
Forum Partners Investment Management LLC, along with its affiliates, is an independent global real estate investment management firm managing assets on behalf of institutional investors and family offices via funds and separate accounts. Through its expertise across debt and equity and public and private markets, Forum provides growth and restructuring capital to real estate operators and also invests directly at the property level. Forum sets out to achieve attractive medium/long-term returns for investors in an environment of contained risk with capital protection at its heart. Forum has offices in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Singapore, Mumbai, Sydney, Greenwich (Connecticut) and Santa Fe (New Mexico).