'Record deal' in Romania as offices sell for €307m

A ‘new record’ for transaction size in Romania’s real estate market has reportedly been set by AFI Europe and the NEPI Rockcastle investment fund.

Israeli-owned AFI has acquired a portfolio of four office buildings in the central and eastern Europe (CEE) country, paying €307 mln to Johannesburg-listed NEPI Rockcastle for the properties.

Getting the deal over the line counts as an achievement by the parties involved, given PropertyEU previously reported the transaction came close to collapse after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, earlier this year. A purchase agreement was signed as long ago as last December and completion was originally slated to take place back in March.

Colliers International, which advised the vendor, said the ‘elaborate’ transaction was ‘probably’ a record price, which put Romania on the map of large strategic investors, signifying local market liquidity and increasing investor confidence. Total transaction volume in the country this year is forecast to reach around €1 bn.

Welcoming the closing of the deal, Robert Miklo, director of investment services at Colliers International, said: ‘The transaction is a benchmark not only in value and complexity. The fact that it was completed in an economic context marked by Covid-19, under the terms initially agreed upon, confirms the investor's confidence in the potential of the assets and the market.

‘At the same time, it proves that there is liquidity in the local real estate sector, being a reference for future transactions and contributing to increasing confidence of potential new investors in Romania.’

The portfolio NEPI Rockcastle has sold to AFI Europe comprises three assets in the capital city, Bucharest, and one in Timisoara. The total leasable area of 118,500 m2. In Bucharest the buildings are Floreasca Business Park with 36,300 m2, The Lakeview with 25,600 m2, and the Victoriei Office comprising 7,800 m2. In Timisoara, the City Business Centre covers 47,800 m2.

NEPI Rockcastle investment fund is one of the largest real estate investors in CCE with a total portfolio valued at around €6.1 bn, focused upon retail.


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