Commerz Real acquires 20% stake in 10 Kaufhof stores

German fund manager Commerz Real has acquired a 20% stake in a package of 10 Kaufhof department stores from Austrian investor Signa.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Commerz Real said it planned to develop them in order to increase their value in the medium term, alongside Signa Prime Selection, the Signa vehicle which holds the remaining 80% of the Kaufhof assets.

'Similarly to the Millennium portfolio, we are securing properties in prime locations at an attractive price for Hausinvest which would not normally otherwise be available,' said Andreas Muschter, Commerz Real's CEO.

The Millennium portfolio, recently acquired by Commerz Real for its Hausinvest fund from the former Generali insurance group, comprises 49 office, residential and retail properties across Germany.

The portfolio encompasses 65,900 m2 of land and some 371,600 m2 of leasable space, plus nearly 3,000 car parking spaces.

All the stores are located in high street and prime locations in Berlin, Düsseldorf (2), Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, Bonn, Hanover, Frankfurt and Mannheim. They are fully leased to Galeria Kaufhof, with an average residual lease term of more than 16 years.

The partnership between Signa and Commerz Real is planning measures for maintaining and raising the value of the assets, for example building a 130-metre-high tower with 33 storeys at Alexanderplatz in Berlin next to the existing Kaufhof store.

'With the real estate and retail competence of Signa and the capital strength of both of us we intend to make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of many inner-cities,' said Henning Koch, global head of transactions at Commerz Real.

As the majority shareholder, Signa Prime Selection will continue to assume responsibility for the asset management.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Commerz Real on legal aspects of the transaction. Signa was advised by McDermott Will & Emery.

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