FORE Completes Buyout of Minority Partner

Deal enables ethical investor to become more agile in its mission to develop
forward-thinking, purposeful real estate

FORE Partnership, the purpose-driven, transformational real estate investment firm active in the UK and Western Europe, has completed the buy-out of Edmond de Rothschild Real Estate Investment Management’s 32% minority interest in the business.

The deal, which completed earlier this month, provides FORE with increased independence and agility to navigate the current uncertain market conditions, and to pursue its signature approach to real estate investment.

Since inception, FORE Partnership has acquired more than 1m sq ft commercial and residential property with a with a forecast exit value of more than £650m on behalf of private and institutional investors from Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Recognising the current unprecedented market conditions, FORE is cautiously considering where and when new investment opportunities will emerge in the impending dislocation. It sees the opportunity to more than double its portfolio to circa £1bn over the next few years through its strategy of acquiring outdated assets in well-connected locations, and transforming them into ultra-sustainable, healthy, future-proofed buildings.

FORE was originally set up by a team out of Capricorn Investment Group, the family office of eBay’s first president and billionaire philanthropist Jeff Skoll, in 2012, with a vision to drive financial returns by deeply embedding environmental and social impact in its real estate strategy.

The original shareholders comprised FORE Partnership’s management, Capricorn, and Cording Real Estate Group – which earlier this month became part of the renamed Edmond de Rothschild Real Estate Investment Management. Cording was brought in to help with acquisition execution, property management, asset management, and back office operations.

Following the buy-out, FORE’s management team has increased its stake in the business. Capricorn retains a minority interest and remains as a key strategic stakeholder.

Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner, FORE Partnership, said:

“We are currently living through very difficult and challenging times and we are all trying to understand what the impact will be on the real estate market, future working practices, and the wider economy – not to mention our own personal circumstances. We are looking beyond this and are fully committed to our long-term vision, which indeed seems more relevant now than ever.

“This deal represents an important step in FORE Partnership’s development and growth, enabling us to be more agile in our decision-making and pursue our mission to develop forward-thinking, purposeful real estate. Ever since we set up the business nearly a decade ago, we have been committed to driving positive economic outcomes for all stakeholders and improving the lives of tenants and the wider community by championing social and environmental innovation in the built environment. We must now urgently move towards a low-carbon world in which property is a force for social good. This is the future of real estate.”

Rodney Bysh, Head of Business Development at Edmond de Rothschild Real Estate Investment Management, said:

“The growth of our platform and FORE has been linked together over the last seven years, with both firms enjoying a rapid expansion during a very dynamic time for the property market. I have great respect for the FORE team and wish them much continued success in the future.”

FORE’s first acquisition, 58 Victoria Embankment in London, was purchased for £6.8 million and sold to the innovation foundation NESTA in 2016 for £51 million after a comprehensive redevelopment.

FORE recently achieved planning permission for TBC London, a 110,000 sq ft forward-thinking work environment that will be 100% electric and zero carbon in operation, making it one of the UK’s most sustainable offices.

Recently completed projects include Windmill Green, an 82,000 sq ft ultra-sustainable workspace in Manchester, which is the first multi-let office in Manchester to be rated BREEAM ‘Outstanding’. The speculative office building has attracted a number of tenants including CBRE’s flexible workspace operator Hana, which is opening its first offering outside London at Windmill Green, and tech firm Interact. The building has been nominated for awards by the RICS, RIBA, BCO, the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and Property Week.

FORE also recently opened its first co-living project, The Italian Building in London, in partnership with Mason + Fifth and is exploring further opportunities in the co-living sector.

Other notable projects include, Geisberg Berlin, a stunning restoration of a listed building in Berlin into a residential block which was the first historic landmark residential building to receive DGNB ‘Gold’ certification anywhere in Germany.

OakNorth Bank assisted FORE’s management team with funding the buyout.