JPMorgan, GWM close €120m Italian deal

A joint venture of investors JP Morgan and GWM have emerged ahead of rival bidder Invel in a process to acquire a major portfolio of mixed assets across Italy. 

Torre Sgr, which manages the properties on behalf of the owner, the listed Unicredit Immobiliare Uno (UIU) investment fund, last week accepted a binding offer from the two international parties for the entire portfolio, for a total of €117 mln. The price is believed to reflect a discount of around 10% to the last appraised value of the assets.
 
Under the deal, European privately-held asset manager GWM and US investor JP Morgan are jointly taking control of the largest single scheme in the portfolio, a redevelopment complex at Via Boncompagni 71 in Rome, while GWM alone is buying the non-core portion of the package, including 19 residential units in Rome, six parking spaces in Milan, Le Grange shopping centre in Piedimonte San Germano and the Terni shopping centre in central Italy, as well as the entire capital of the Emporikon srl company.  
 
The Via Boncompagni asset is a 46,700 m2 mixed-use complex with a mix of offices, residential, parking facilities and a congress centre in need of full refurbishment. First developed in 1971, the complex was bought by UIU in 2000 for €107 mln.
 
PropertyEU first reported in the spring last year that UIU had put the Boncompagni asset on the market with some bilateral discussions underway. Then, at the end of last year, Torre Sgr instructed Vitale Real Estate to sell both Boncompagni and the non core portfolio. The process attracted interest from parties believed to include also Goldman Sachs, Orion Capital Managers and Invel. The deal is due to close before the end of July. Legance is the legal advisor for Torre Sgr while DLA Piper is acting for JPMorgan and GOP is advisor to GWM.
 
GWM has concluded a number of large-scale operations in Italy in the recent past. Last year it acquired a major office complex in the Eur district of Rome from the SEB Immoinvest open-ended fund in liquidation for a price of around €170 mln as well as the largest shopping centre of Sicily from local developer and landlord, Gruppo Cualbu for €145 mln.
 
 JP Morgan entered Italy in 2016 with the acquisition of the former headquarters of Ubi Banca in Milan’s Via Solferino. The vacant property was bought for some €100 mln.

The article first appeared in the Europroperty weekly magazine.

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