Merope makes Rome debut with €100m portfolio deal

Milan-based Merope Asset Management has made its investment debut in the city of Rome with the purchase of 10 historic villas for around €100 mln.

The deal, which was struck on behalf of the Elettra investment vehicle, comprises ten assets in Rome's Sallustiano neighbourhood, close to Via Veneto.

The buildings, located within a centuries-old park, cover an area of over 17,000 m2 and together represent a prestigious portfolio, ripe for reconversion.

Once belonging to some of the most important Roman families, the buildings have also hosted the offices of the Mediocredito and Unicredit banks, before passing to the ownership of an international fund.

The acquisition represents one of the largest single-deals in the Rome real estate market. Merope plans to invest around €80 mln euros in restoring and transforming the assets, while aiming for the highest standards of energy efficiency.

Intesa Sanpaolo and Banco BPM provided debt financing of around €100 mln, divided equally between the two banks.

Pietro Croce, founder and CEO of Merope Asset Management, commented: 'We are very pleased to have concluded this transaction after more than a year of dialogue with the seller, an international fund. The negotiation and closing of the operation required a lot of energy and resources from our team.

'We are witnessing a restarting phase of the city of Rome and we are proud to be able to add our contribution in such a decisive moment in its history. The Villini del Rione Sallustiano are an icon of the center of Rome and, together with our investors, we aim to transform them into a unique landmark for the city and at an international level.'

Lorenzo Niccolini, partner - head of investment & asset management of Merope Asset Management, added: 'After the investments and the important operations carried out in Milan - an increasingly competitive market - we are happy to announce our first investment in Rome.

'We strongly believe in the growth of the capital market, especially in the area of Via Vittorio Veneto, an area that is experiencing a strong repositioning.'

The transaction on this portfolio is in line with the investment objectives of Merope and of the family offices that invest with the company. This investment is part of Merope's growth strategy, which wants to position itself as the main player with private capital in the Italian real estate market where, to date, it has already invested over €800 mln.

Merope was assisted by Dentons and Morri & Rossetti who acted as legal advisors, by Belvedere & Inzaghi as administrative advisor and by Savills, Colliers and Jones Lang LaSalle as technical and commercial advisors.

Giancaspero & Carlucci coordinated the tax and corporate aspects, and advised on the debt financing, alongside Dentons.

Intesa Sanpaolo and Banco BPM were advised by law firm Advant-NCTM.

Busani & Partners notarised the deal.


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