Gecina announces plan for €3b resi portfolio spin-off

French listed property giant Gecina will seek investment partners for its €3 bn residential portfolio focused on Greater Paris.

Paris-based Gecina said that it will transfer some €3 bn of residential assets to a new unit in which it will retain control. The new subsidiary will however open up its capital and allow other investors to get access to the residential sector and benefit from Gecina's experience in this asset class.

As the same time, the move would allow Gecina to capitalize on potential opportunities for growth and to further develop the portfolio in Greater Paris’ most central sectors, as well as in other major French cities.

'Today, housing is a crucial issue in France,' the company said. 'The current housing supply is not aligned with the rapid growth in the urban population and its expectations in terms of centrality, flexibility and environmental efficiency. In response to these long-term trends, Gecina aims to develop and operate a residential rental offering aimed at middle-class households to supplement the existing rental offering of social or intermediate housing and private rental properties.'

Gecina’s residential portfolio is made up of 6,000 apartments, representing 409,000 m2. The company intends to maintain a Group share allocation of its portfolio with around 80% office assets and 20% residential assets.

The move is subject to approval by shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting to be held in April 2020.

'In 2017, we chose to relaunch our rental residential business, with the creation of a dedicated business unit. With this proposed subsidiarization, which is expected to be carried out during the first half of 2020, we are resolutely confirming this strategic choice,' said Méka Brunel, Gecina’s Chief Executive Officer.

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