The property arm of Norway's oil-fuelled pension fund Norges Bank is understood to be finalising the acquisition of a major office complex in Paris’ central business district for around €450 mln.
Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages assets on behalf of Norway’s €873 bn Government Pension Fund Global, is believed to have signed the purchase of 54-56 Rue la Boétie in Paris’ 8th district, according to well-informed market sources. The vendor is South Korean asset manager IGIS, acting on behalf of a Korean consortium led by Hanwha and Kyobo Life Insurance.
The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.
IGIS and its investment partners bought the asset in October 2014 from German fund manager KanAm grundinvest Fonds as part of a larger global portfolio acquisition that also included assets in Montreal and Washington (the Capital portfolio). They are said to have spent €350 mln on the Parisian property at the time, in a deal financed with a €280 mln senior and junior loan from Helaba.
KanAm had owned the property for over a decade. It entirely repositioned the complex in 2011 and leased it to pharma group Sanofi, which currently uses it as its main headquarters. The Haussmann-style complex consists of two buildings and provides around 20,000 m2 of space.
NBIM and IGIS declined to comment on the rumours.
The acquisition is believed to be the first in France by NBIM so far this year. Earlier in 2018 the Norwegian investor sold its interest in M Campus, a 45,000-m2 office campus in Meudon, on the outskirts of Paris and also divested a €130 mln office property located in Suresnes to fund manager M&G's European Property Fund. Both sales were carried out in a joint venture with AXA France.
IGIS, which is preparing an IPO for next year, last month bought the Nestlé headquarters in Barcelona from Meridia Capital for €87 mln and last week completed the €670 mln purchase of the Trianon Tower office building in Frankfurt.
This article first appeared in EuroProperty, the weekly publication of PropertyEU.