FdR rebrands as Covivio to reflect European footprint

French listed property group Foncière des Régions (FdR) has been renamed as Covivio in an effort to highlight its European expansion plans.

The name change comes fast on the heels of the company's merger plans with its 52.4% owned Italian arm Beni Stabili as well as the opening of an office in the UK and the purchase of a €1 bn portfolio in the country.

'This is the right time for us to change our name,' commented CEO Christophe Kullmann. 'We have undergone significant development over the last few years. Covivio reflects what we are today: a European company that operates at the heart of urban areas in motion; a single team united under a common banner.'

Founded 20 years ago, FdR has traditionally been focused on the French regions and been active in several market segments under different units. Over the past few years the company has, however, been refocusing on offices in France and Italy, hotels in Europe and residential assets in Germany, selling off all the other property types such as parking, retail and logistics.

Non-strategic assets sold off
Under this strategy, FdR has recently sold nearly €290 mln of non-strategic retail assets in France. It has also taken its residential unit private as well as merged its two hotel units in one platform in an effort to simplify its organisational structure and make it more attractive for equity investors.

Its €21 bn portfolio currently consists of office, residential and hotel assets, with the majority located in France (44%), Germany (30%) and Italy (20%).

The Italian assets are, however, expected to increase their share in the near future as a result of the planned acquisition of Beni Stabili. FdR is offering 8.5 of its shares for every 1,000 Beni Stabili shares, representing an 8% premium to the three-month average share price on the day prior to the announcement.

With a portfolio of €3.5 bn, Beni Stabili is the largest office REIT in Italy. Based in Milan, the firm is active in real estate development and investment with its assets largely focused on its home city. Its development pipeline comprised €690 mln of assets in Milan at year-end 2017.

The operation is expected to complete by the end of 2018.


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