OfficeFirst puts two Berlin offices on sale for €300m

OfficeFirst, the German office investor owned by Blackstone, is bringing forward the sale of more assets, this time in Berlin.

Sources say the company is selling two buildings in the German capital for around €300 mln: the largest will be Focus Teleport (pictured), a 28,700 m2 office property in Alt Moabit in the west of the city centre; the other is a seven-storey office in Berlin Mitte at 44-45 Taubenstrasse, let to Deutsche Kredibank.

Blackstone’s Real Estate Partners Europe IV paid €3.3 bn for OfficeFirst, formerly called IVG, just under two years ago when the company had about 100 office assets totalling 1.5 million m2 in its portfolio. The number of assets has more than halved, to 40, according to OfficeFirst’s website.

The company has been selling into an extremely strong investment market. One source said he believed the Blackstone subsidiary will have been making average profits of 20-30% on the disposals.

Agents say OfficeFirst’s strategy has been to sell off all but the best buildings located in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich – which so far it has kept. ‘It has now sold almost everything it had in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf,’ one said.

Since December, the investor has sold seven assets, which include: an office in the Zeughausquartier in Hamburg, Herzog-Terrassen in Düsseldorf, and the Y2 building in Mertonviertel, Frankfurt, all to Godewind Immobilien; the Allianz-Campus in Stuttgart; and 20 Rodingsmarkt, also in Hamburg, to Real IS.

One of the trophy assets still in the portfolio is The Squaire, at Frankfurt airport. Last month OfficeFirst said the 143,000 m2 scheme, which was substantially vacant when Blackstone acquired the company, is now 95% let and generating annual cash flow of €55 mln.

OfficeFirst also owns the Messeturm in Frankfurt and it manages the Axel Spring headquarters and adjoining office/retail complex in Berlin, which Blackstone bought together with Norges Bank for €755 mln.

CBRE said this week that transaction volume for German office real estate in 2018 was €32 bn, 15% up year-on-year and the highest ever.


This story first appeared in EuroProperty, PropertyEU's sister publication


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