AXA Real Estate Investment Managers ('AXA Real Estate'), acting on behalf of AXA France Insurance Companies, and Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), manager of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, announce that they have agreed to buy two buildings in Germany for a total of 784 million (approximately NOK 5.8 billion), from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The transaction, which is expected to complete before the year-end, gives each partner the joint venture (the 'Joint Venture') a 50% stake in each building. The properties are located in Berlin and Frankfurt and are used mainly for office and retail purposes. Payment for the properties will be split equally between the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global and AXA France.
The building in Berlin is located on the well-known Kurfürstendamm Boulevard. It has 72,400 m² of office and retail space over 16 floors. The second property, located in Frankfurt's central business district, consists of 81,600 m² of predominantly office space.
This transaction follows the announcement in July 2011 of a joint venture between NBIM and AXA Real Estate, acting on behalf of AXA France, to co-invest in a 1.4 billion portfolio of seven assets prime office properties in and around Paris. A subsequent co-investment into a 290 million portfolio of Paris office assets was also made in November 2011.
"This marks the fund's first property investment in Germany," says Karsten Kallevig, Chief Investment Officer for real estate at NBIM. "It is in line with our strategy to build our real estate portfolio by initially investing in large, well-developed markets alongside partners with aligned interests."
Pierre Vaquier, CEO of AXA Real Estate, added: "This transaction highlights our ability to both source high quality real estate assets through our local country teams and invest in joint venture with world class investors. In a challenging environment, AXA Real Estate is focused on sourcing large transactions with core characteristics and asset management opportunities.
"We are also extremely pleased to continue our relationship with Norges Bank Investment Management, particularly as we are assisting with its first investment in Germany, while at the same allowing AXA France to achieve its stated strategy of diversifying investments in to other European markets, especially the UK and Germany."
Source: AXA Real Estate