Beny Steinmetz, the diamond mining tycoon and one of Israel’s richest men, today launched a $2bn endeavour to acquire distressed commercial properties in European markets, a company spokesperson has announced.
The fund will focus on acquiring office and retail properties in need of financial restructuring or development, and marks the latest effort by a wealthy investor to cash in on the funding difficulties facing the European commercial property market.
The billionaires company, The Beny Steinmetz Group has appointed the former head of real estate at Deutsche Bank, Chris Papachristophorou to manage the fund, which will operate as a subsidiary of the company.
BSG is a privately owned conglomerate and owner of many precious metal and mineral mines throughout west Africa and the Balkans, and includes large diamond, gold and nickel reserves.
Commenting on the fund, Mr Papachristophorou said: “A lot of people are wanting to invest in European real estate at the moment but are concerned by the eurozone crisis and want some clarity on what they are buying.
“That means two things: they want to co-invest with people who know the market well and they want visibility over exactly which assets they are buying, rather than being in a commingled fund.”