AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (AXA IMRA) has purchased on behalf of clients a significant majority interest in the 8Gallery shopping centre in Turin, Italy for €105 mln from European privately-held asset manager GWM Group.
The acquisition is part of the firm's value-added investment strategy and was made via a joint venture with specialist retail asset and fund manager Pradera.
Located in the iconic Lingotto Complex - the former Fiat factory - 8Gallery totals 23,300 m2 of GLA over two floors, with 4,000 parking spaces. It is let to a diverse range of national and international brands.
'8Gallery fits with our stated value-add strategy of acquiring assets which offer significant capital growth potential and where we can leverage our pan-European local footprint to the benefit of our clients,' said Ian Chappell, head of value-add and development funds at AXA IMRA.
'We are pleased by this acquisition of a landmark urban shopping centre which has excellent real estate fundamentals and strong upside potential through re-positioning and an extension. We will continue to deploy capital in value-added strategies given our increasing investor interest and our focus on sourcing new opportunities in this space.'
'We are pleased to be working alongside AXA IM - Real Assets on the asset management and development of 8Gallery,' said Stefano Viciguerra, joint head, Pradera Management Italy.
'Pradera’s Italian and international retail and leisure teams see huge potential to further enhance the attraction of such an iconic complex for the local customer base and for the increasing number of tourists visiting the city each year.'
GWM purchased the asset at the end of 2014 for around €80 mln. At the end of 2016, the company announced it was investing €20 mln in a major overhaul of the asset.
Permissions have already been granted for the refurbishment of the northern entrance, as well as a 7,700 m2 extension, to deliver additional medium and large sized units.
Last month GWM announced it had purchased Centro Sicilia, on the island of Sicily in Catania. The firm also holds retail assets in Rome.
AXA IMRA's €4 bn value-add strategy seeks to invest primarily in office, retail, logistics and hotel assets in Europe’s key real estate markets, that offer significant value-enhancing asset management opportunities.