AXA IMRA inks deal for €1.1b Northstar Realty Europe

Global investment giant AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (AXA IMRA) has acquired NorthStar Realty Europe (NRE), a NYSE-listed REIT which owns an office-led property portfolio in Europe worth €1.1 bn.

The deal is being executed as part of a core strategy on behalf of a client, and involves AXA acquiring the entire issued share capital of the REIT for an agreed $16.95 per share.

NRE's portfolio comprises 12 office properties and two hotel assets covering 122,000 m2 with a combined value of €1.1 bn, located in key cities across Germany, the UK and France.

'The acquisition of NRE is a rare opportunity to secure a significant portfolio of prime modern European offices in a single transaction,' said John O’Driscoll, European head of transactions at AXA IMRA.

'The properties, which are located in the major cities of Europe’s largest economies of France, the UK and Germany, have high occupancy and produce strong levels of income that are ideally suited to our clients.'

The 68,000 m2 German portfolio comprises six office assets including three in the city centre of Hamburg, with the remaining three in Cologne, Münster and Berlin. The two hotels are also in Berlin and comprise 334 rooms across 12,000 m2 in total. There are a further two assets totalling 22,000 m2 in the City and West End of London and four offices totalling 32,000 m2 across a range of locations in central Paris.

The office portfolio is 96% let, with an average lease expiry of 5.9 years. AXA said it offered potential for both asset management and further income generation.

The transaction follows an announcement by NRE in November 2018 that its board of directors was undertaking a strategic review of the business, including a possible sale of the company. The deal, which is expected to complete in the fourth quarter, is subject to approval by a majority of NRE shareholders.

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