Insurance giants Mapfre and Swiss Life have acquired nine prime offices in Paris for €296.1 mln, marking the debut deal of the joint venture between the firms created in 2018.
The assets comprise a total office space of 22,000 m2, making the deal Mapre's largest ever investment in French real estate.
The buildings are located at 10 and 12 avenue de Messine; 51 rue d’Anjou; 112 and 114 rue la Boétie; 150 boulevard Haussmann; 43 rue Liège; plus four other properties on Cité Paradis.
Both parties committed 50% of the deal volume as part of their initiative to invest in prime office space in and around Paris. The investment vehicle is managed by Swiss Life Asset Managers France, the real estate arm of the Swiss insurance firm.
Mapfre, the largest Spanish insurer in the world, said that the investment reflected a strategy to gradually increase its portfolio of alternative investments, in a bid to protect profitability against the prevailing climate of low interest rates.
The Mapfre board recently green-lit a further €500 mln in alternative investments. This is on top of the €550 mln already approved, of which some €350 mln has already been used, with the remainder fully committed.
It was announced last year that another co-investment vehicle would be set up alongside real estate firm GLL to invest up to €300 mln in prime office space across the main office markets of the eurozone over a two or three-year horizon.
The company has now used this vehicle to make its first two investments in two buildings in Paris and Hamburg, worth €50 mln between them.
Mapfre's real estate portfolio already includes key global assets, including the building at Plaza de la Independencia in Madrid and the Mapfre Tower in Barcelona, as well as Mapfre House in London, the Mapfre Tower on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City and One Winthrop Square in Boston.