Allianz grows debt fund to €1.5b with Berlin deal

Allianz Real Estate, the property arm of the German insurance giant, has completed a further prime real estate debt deal in Germany as sole lender, taking its debt fund to €1.5 bn in deployed capital.

The firm has inked a €230 mln refinancing deal for the existing debt of Gropius Passagen, a Berlin shopping centre 80% owned by Nuveen and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. The terms of the debt amounts to seven years.

The agreement was completed on behalf of investors in its Luxembourg-based debt fund, Allianz said.

'We’re delighted to complete this latest prime transaction in Berlin. This is a landmark asset that benefits from exceptional demand drivers, with close connectivity to excellent transport links and a large catchment area of approximately 250,000 inhabitants,' said Roland Fuchs, head of European debt at Allianz Real Estate.

The 90,000 m2 Gropius Passagen is currently undergoing a five-year refurbishment programme, due to complete in 2020, including new, creative food concepts to serve its 140 stores and 10 million annual vistors.

The centre’s turnover was €237 mln in 2018 and overall occupancy, including signed leases with future start dates, is at 91%, Allianz reported.

More than three-quarters of units are occupied by multi-national retail chains. The centre's biggest tenants include Kaufland, Karstadt, Primark and UCI-cinema.

In its 2018 results, disclosed in March this year, Allianz Real Estate announced that its European debt portfolio topped €7.8 bn for the year following a record period of €2.1 bn in loans and the launch of its Luxembourg-based debt fund.

'Our European debt portfolio continues to grow strongly, driven by our focus on prime assets and partners in tier 1 locations in Europe,' concluded Fuchs.

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