BMO retail fund swoops in Spain and Germany

Canada-owned BMO Real Estate Partners (BMO REP), the pan-European property investment and asset management specialist, has inked deals in Barcelona and Cologne, the latter marking the German debut for the BMO REP Best Value Europe II fund (BVE II).

BVE II focuses on high quality, prime high street retail properties within top tier or dominant European cities.

BVE II's Barcelona deal comprises a high street retail property at Portal de l'Àngel 9-11, let to Swedish fashion chain H&M and the Disney Store. The asset was sold by a family group linked to the Marquis of Casa Riera for a reported €80 mln.

Although this fund has not previously invested in Barcelona, BVE II has invested in Madrid. Its predecessor fund, BVE I, acquired a property in Barcelona's Plaça de Catalunya for €28 mln in 2019.

BVE II has also made its German debut, acquiring a high street asset in a prime location in Cologne city centre, for an undisclosed sum. The property comprises a 1,500 m2 modern flagship store located at Hohe Straße 84–86. Completed in 2017, it is long-term let to international lingerie and swimwear brand, Hunkemöller.

Following these deals, BVE II is invested in seven countries in Continental Europe with a GAV of more than €420 mln. The target investment volume for the fund is approximately €1 bn.

Assia Amore, European fund manager at BMO Real Estate Partners said: 'This first acquisition in Germany for BVE II further strengthens the diversification of the portfolio, with the addition of a liquid and resilient market in Cologne.

'E-commerce penetration is reaching record highs, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and alongside this our conviction in the bifurcation of retail property in favour of ultra-prime locations is being reinforced.

'As the economies of major European cities begin to recover, we believe that a portfolio of carefully selected assets with strong tenant covenants is well placed to deliver attractive capital and income returns.'

BMO Real Estate Partners was advised on the transaction by Jebens Mensching and Duff & Phelps.

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