Catella Group is set to acquire a 75% stake in real estate asset and investment management company APAM for £18m, buying out developer David Russell who held 50% of the company.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will see Catella AB, through Catella Property Fund Management, acquire the controlling stake in the firm on a debt and cash free basis.
A non-refundable down payment of £2.7m has been paid to secure the acquisition, which is expected to finalise in the second half of 2018.
Founded by Russell in 2010, APAM later merged with Simon Cooke and William Powell of Cooke & Powell. The company currently employs 40 staff and has offices in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow. All staff are to be retained after the acquisition.
On completion Russell will step down as a non-executive director of the firm, selling his 50% shareholding to focus on his business interests in Manchester and the North West.
APAM’s Cooke and Powell will own the remaining 25% of APAM’s equity and are committed to the company for at least another five years.
David Russell, chairman of developer Property Alliance Group, said: “The origination of setting up APAM came from working in the market downturn of 2008 and recognising in 2009/2010 that whilst many were exiting out of property development and asset management there was a unique opportunity to turn our experience, skill and tenacity to the mass of challenged assets.
“Adding value quickly and effectively we were soon generating profits for our partner banks and major funds such as Värde, Oaktree and Patron. Selling our entire share will greatly benefit the APAM team and business.”
PwC acted as financial advisors to APAM, EY advised Catella AB on the acquisition. Forsters and Reed Smith were legal advisors to the sellers and buyers respectively.
Catella is a European specialist in property investment, fund management and banking and operates in 14 countries. It has combined assets of around £18bn.