Commerz Real bags €2b Millennium portfolio in Germany

German investor Commerz Real has emerged as the buyer of the so-called Millennium Portfolio consisting of 49 office, residential and retail properties in premium locations in German metropolises from landlord, insurance group Generali Lebensversicherung.

The portfolio, which was bought on behalf of the Hausinvest open-ended real estate fund, was put on the market earlier this year as part of a portfolio restructuring following the acquisition of a majority stake in Generali Lebensversicherung by Viridium Group.

Encompassing 352,000 m2, the package is believed to have a value of over €2 bn. The transaction price was kept confidential.

'We were able to acquire this portfolio, which is quite unique in terms of its quality, for our investors because we made optimum use of our strengths,' said Andreas Muschter, chief executive officer of Commerz Real. 'It was a question of acting quickly, in a professional, focussed and reliable manner, in order to rapidly offer the seller transaction security. We will continue to keep Hausinvest open for new investors for precisely such opportunities.'

The Millennium Portfolio comprises 26 office, 14 residential and nine retail trading properties in inner-city locations in the Top 7 cities Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart, as well as in Giessen, Leipzig and Unterhaching. The properties are mainly between 5,000 m2  and more than 10,000 m2 in size, with the majority (about 61%) built or modernised after the year 2000. The occupancy rate across all the properties is 93%.

'Ultimately we were able to assert our bid in a very competitive process,' said Henning Koch, global head of transactions at Commerz Real. 'The portfolio is perfectly geared to our investment strategy of increasing the share of German properties in the fund and in doing so achieving the best-possible mix of all usage types.'

This is the biggest real estate transaction in the company's history, Commerz Real said.

'This thoroughly high-calibre acquisition will stabilize Hausinvest’s yield. The objective is, above all, to hold on to the more than 1,000 apartments in the long term. We intend to reassure the tenants, and also the municipal authorities and local councils, and give them the necessary security that there will not now be measures to maximise the short-term profitability,' added fund manager Mario Schüttauf.

As a result of the deal, the residential share of Hausinvest has increased substantially, bringing the company closer to its goal of investing €2 bn in the residential sector over four years.

BNP Paribas Real Estate brokered the transaction.

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