Taurus Investment Holdings and Aegon Asset Management Announce ESG-Centric Decarbonization Venture

NewsMar 23, 2022

Aegon AM and Taurus, through Taurus’ sustainable retrofit subsidiary RENU Communities, aims to significantly reduce carbon emissions across the venture’s portfolio, starting with Orlando multifamily asset

Taurus Investment Holdings, LLC (Taurus), and Aegon Asset Management (Aegon AM), the asset management arm of Aegon N.V., are pleased to announce today that the firms have entered into four-year/$600M ESG-centric venture to acquire value-add multifamily assets and considerably reduce the energy consumption and carbon output of those assets. Seeking to leverage the Taurus and Aegon AM track record of executing multifamily value-add investment strategies the parties to the venture will manage the investments, while the Taurus’ subsidiary RENU Communities, will evaluate and apply its tailored retrofit program aiming to transition the assets to low-carbon, energy efficient buildings. The projected initial investment of the equity venture will start with the recapitalization of Canopy Villa Apartments, a 1981 vintage, 296-unit apartment complex located in Orlando, Florida.

As conscious stewards of investors’ capital, both Aegon Asset Management and Taurus understand the urgency for real estate owners and operators to assume a larger responsibility in reducing carbon emissions. RENU will work to link traditional real estate investment with the market’s growing desire for electrification and decarbonization, providing turnkey energy efficient retrofits of existing real estate assets.

“Taurus and Aegon AM have made a commitment to building a business that delivers returns to our investors, while also positively impacting both society and the environment, so it only makes sense to partner for this substantial decarbonization venture,” said Peter A. Merrigan, CEO of Taurus. “RENU has already proven to be a leader in addressing carbon emissions in existing buildings, and its work across this portfolio will further show our innovative ability to decarbonize properties in a way that is beneficial all parties.”

Commercial and residential properties in the US contribute slightly over 30% of greenhouse gas emissions annually.  The real estate investments and energy improvements made by Taurus’ RENU subsidiary in this venture will target significant reduction in both energy use and operational carbon emissions, primarily through energy efficiency upgrades, onsite renewables production and electrification of all services.  The benefits of this program are multi-faceted for both the occupant and the property owner: the lower energy profile limits the impact of rising or volatile energy prices on occupants; onsite energy production with solar panels combined with energy storage, where possible, raises resilience and energy independence for the property; and zero combustion of hydrocarbons onsite translates to better air quality for occupants and the surrounding community.

Aegon Asset Management, the global investment management brand of Aegon N.V. a leading financial services organization based in the Netherlands, managed $466 billion in assets as of December 31, 2021, with real assets under management/advisement of $30 billion.

“The strong return potential and durable cash flows of the multifamily value-add strategy paired with this accretive, one-of-a-kind decarbonization initiative aims to set the standard for a new way to approach these investments,” said Alexia Gottschalch, Global Head of Client Strategy Aegon Real Asset and US Head of Equity Real Assets. “There is strong alignment of the Aegon AM and Taurus teams in our focus on investment returns, portfolio construction, and meaningful ESG targets.

Evercore Real Estate Capital Advisory, an investment banking advisory firm, acted as exclusive financial advisor to Taurus in connection with the transaction.

“We are delighted to help bring together Taurus and Aegon AM, both with successful track records in multifamily investing, to join forces and pursue a value-add multifamily strategy with a decarbonization approach,” said Yan Ling, Managing Director of Evercore. “With this impactful partnership, these like-minded firms are reinforcing the outlook that investment returns and environmental sustainability go hand-in-hand.”