AllianceBernstein Launches European Debt Platform

The launch is a partnership with Lacarne Capital and aims for both direct lending and secondary participations in a variety of commercial real estate investments across Europe.
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AllianceBernstein is launching a European Commercial Real Estate Debt business by partnering with Lacarne Capital, of London, a pan-European real estate debt platform led by Clark Coffee.

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ECRED will launch with more than €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) of initial capital, reportedly making it one of the largest commercial real estate direct lending platform launches in Europe. It will focus on direct origination and secondary participations in whole loans, subordinate loans, preferred equity and other real estate backed investments across the U.K. and continental European markets.

AB referred to this moment as “an opportune time for ECRED’s launch, as the disruption created by COVID-19 has made traditional sources of capital harder to secure, resulting in an increased opportunity set and relevance for alternative lenders.”  

The launch follows the success of AB’s U.S. commercial real estate debt platform, which launched in 2013 and currently oversees nearly $6 billion in investor commitments. The new business is launching with long-time AB investor Equitable as the lead initial investor.

Coffee founded Lacarne earlier this year, after building Tyndaris Real Estate into a top 10 European real estate debt business before its sale in 2019. He will serve as chief investment officer of the ECRED business, which will be based in London and Frankfurt.

Joining Coffee are lending veterans Shivam Rastogi, former head of Deutsche Bank’s Debt Origination and High Yield Lending business in Europe, and Daniel Stengel, previously general counsel of Tyndaris Real Estate.

In a prepared statement, Matthew Bass, head of private alternatives for AB, said, “Following the success of our U.S. CRED business, Europe is the logical next step for expanding AB’s growing Private Alternatives franchise.”

Working on both coasts

AB has been active in diverse deals so far this year. Earlier this year, it provided $300 million in financing to Stockdale Capital Partners for their development of a mixed-use addition to Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego.

More recently, AB originated a $66 million construction loan for Columbia Property Trust’s 43TEN project in Queens, N.Y. The 203,200-square-foot, seven-story creative office building is a redevelopment of a former manufacturing facility, on 23rd Street in Long Island City.