La Perla Living and Babcock & Brown Join Forces

La
Perla Living, an award-winning international real estate company, has
teamed up with global investment banking firm Babcock & Brown in a
multi-million euro joint venture agreement finalised today in Madrid. The
partnership’s first activities will be to put La Perla Living’s ambitious
Monte Mayor Golf & Country Club project in Spain, which has won multiple
property awards, on the fast track to completion. For Babcock & Brown, the
deal provides a highly desired entry into the Spanish real estate market.
Established in 1995, La Perla Living has grown to become a major player in
international exclusive residential real estate, with projects in the
Spanish Costa del Sol, the French Dordogne, Austria and the Caribbean. The
company continues to expand rapidly, with further developments in Tuscany,
Vietnam and Panama expected in the future.

“The combination of unique homes, beautiful locations and first-class
services that La Perla Living offers buyers is obviously an appealing
one,” says President and CEO Geert Duizendstraal. “In Babcock & Brown, we
have the perfect strategic partner that can help take us to the next level
in our goal to become the leading brand in international residential real
estate.”

Ben de Jonge, Director of Babcock & Brown, is equally excited. “Analysis
shows there is room for growth in the international residential market,
and we’ve been seeking a partner there for some time. We don’t develop
real estate ourselves - it’s not our core business. We look for partners
with solid track records and high-quality projects to which our financing
skills can provide added value. That’s what we’ve found in La Perla
Living. By raising the necessary financing and using our structuring
capabilities to optimise the results, we can generate more profitable and
sustainable business for both parties - in Spain and elsewhere.”

The partnership’s first priority is to accelerate and optimise development
of the Monte Mayor Golf & Country Club, located at the Mediterranean
coast, near Marbella. Complete details of the 50-50% joint venture have
not been announced, but it entails substantial additional investments in
the Monte Mayor project, with over EUR15 million already earmarked for
expenditure in the first 12 months alone. Construction of the new
Clubhouse and spa complex, and enhancement of the world-famous golf course
can begin as early as this autumn.

According to the partners, however, this is only the beginning. “Babcock &
Brown doesn’t look for one-off opportunities,” says De Jonge, “but to
build long-term, synergetic alliances”. Babcock & Brown is engaged in
various real estate projects around the world and has successfully
conducted more than EUR1 billion of real estate transactions during the
last 18 months. Babcock & Brown has just announced that it will relocate
its global head office to Sydney ahead of a proposed Initial Public
Offering and listing on the Australian Stock Exchange within the next six
months.

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“We’re keen to see where we can go further with La Perla Living,
“continues de Jonge, “enabling quick start-up of their other planned
projects and identifying promising new possibilities together.”
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