Madison picks up major holding in Norway's largest urban development

Private equity firm Madison International Realty has acquired the majority of the ground-level commercial assets in Bjørvika, Norway’s largest urban development, comprising some 38,000 m2 of properties. Vendor Oslo S Utvikling (OSU) developed a substantial part of the assets. 

Financial details were not disclosed.

The Bjørvika development includes six development stages, Sørenga, Sørengkaia, Munch Brygge, Barcode, Bispevika North and Bispevika South. To bring the assets together under one management platform, Madison said it had acquired Sørenga, Sørengkaia and the associated parking facilities at Sørenga, as well as entered into an unconditional SPA to acquire Munch Brygge.

According to both companies, OSU has accepted a bid from Madison for the ground-level commercial assets in Barcode and the northern part of Bispevika. OSU will continue the development of Bispevika South which is not included in the transaction. With these transactions, Madison has secured ownership and control of the majority of Bjørvika's ground floor properties and created a new ownership company, Oslo Bay District.

Bjørvika has been described as a new CBD for Oslo, comprising several of Norway’s most prominent cultural institutions such as the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, the new Munch Museum and the new Deichmanske Public Library.

'The area has all the prerequisites for becoming Norway’s most attractive urban district,' said Derek Jacobson, co-chief investment officer at Madison International Realty.

'A successful implementation of the urban floor, through securing ownership of the properties in their entirety, is critical to optimise the area’s full potential. The developers, with OSU as the developer of Barcode, Bispevika North and Bispevika South in the forefront, have done a great job setting the scene for the urban floor, and together with Carucel, our desire is to fill the scene with vibrant tenants.'

The development's 'urban floor' will focus on the F&B segment, but also include retail and leisure. Separately owned and managed offices and residential units are positioned on higher levels. When fully developed, the total area will host approximately 12,000 residences and more than 20,000 employees.

'Our vision is to develop Bjørvika into Norway’s most attractive area, and we are pleased to sell the urban floor to a buyer who will bring this vision to life,' said Rolf Thorsen, CEO of OSU. 'OSU continues to develop residential units and offices in Bjørvika, as well as commercial assets located at other land plots that we control in Bjørvika. Until the execution of the share purchase agreement, we will continue the leasing process in Barcode and Bispevika North.'

Carucel Eiendom, owned by Carl Erik Krefting and his family, will oversee the asset management of the assembled properties.
The investment represents Madison’s third acquisition in Norway, all facilitated by the Norwegian investment bank Arctic Securities.

Arctic Securities acted as Madison’s advisor in the structuring, facilitating and financing of the various acquisitions comprising the totality of the Bjørvika ground floor included in the new company Oslo Bay District.

Akershus Eiendom acted as OSU’s advisor, and as Stor Oslo’s advisor with regards to the sale of the ground floor properties at Munch Brygge.


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