Global markets firm acquires stake in York property developer

Global private markets firm Partners Group has acquired a strategic minority stake in York real estate developer and asset manager Citivale Group Holdings for an undisclosed sum.

Citivale, which was founded in 2010 by James Appleton-Metcalfe and specialises in logistics and light industrial assets, currently manages in excess of 5 million sq ft of floor area across multiple assets in the UK.

The leadership team includes two further partners, Rupert Kay and Rebecca Farnsworth, along with a seasoned team of real estate investment professionals. Citivale manages assets on behalf of a broad group of institutional investors and family offices from the UK, Europe and the Middle East. The firm will continue to operate independently under the management of the three partners.

Greenbox Darlington

Partners Group has $147bn in assets under management, including $17bn in real estate. Partners Group 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. Investing in operating companies also provides Partners Group with vertical depth in sectors where the firm has long-term thematic conviction, such as logistics in this case.

Partners Group’s strategic investment in Citivale will further strengthen their existing Greenbox UK logistics joint venture (JV). The Greenbox platform is focused on the development of market-leading, energy-efficient logistics properties in the UK, with two major projects already underway: Greenbox Thirsk  and Greenbox Darlington.

Stephen McCall, global head of platforms and  opcos at 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.”

Appleton-Metcalfe 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, who has more than 40 years’ UK and European real estate experience, to Citivale’s board as a non-executive director.

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