AXA Real Estate announces the purchase of 28 petrol stations in €55-million deal with Eroski (ES)

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers announces that Alternative Property Income Venture has acquired a portfolio of 28 petrol stations in northern Spain in a €55-million off-market sale and leaseback transaction with Eroski, one of Spain's leading supermarket and food store retailers.

Debt for the acquisition, which was undertaken on behalf of the Venture's clients, was provided by a pool of four Spanish banks, 'la Caixa', as agent bank, BBVA, Banesto and Banco Santander.

All 28 of the petrol stations are subject to a 20-year triple-net lease with Eroski and are well located, adjoining an Eroski hypermarket, consolidated shopping center or retail park. Geographically they are located in eight different regions in Northern Spain, which is Eroski's traditional base, where they will benefit from very strong brand loyalty.

Following the acquisition, the Venture will be 80.3% invested and will have a gross asset value of €600 million, with the investment period due to close forecast in September 2011.

The transaction, which fits with APIV's strategy of targeting alternative property assets in Europe with low asset management or letting risk and a high level of income, improves the Venture's weighted average lease length to 15.0 years from 14.4 years, with no vacancies as at today. The Eroski assets are also a strong complement to the Venture's diversified portfolio of healthcare, government and leisure assets.

Catella Property Spain acted as real estate adviser, MJ Group International acted as independent consultant for the transaction.

Commenting on the acquisition, Daniel Bowden, Fund Manager within AXA Real Estate said: "The acquisition of these 28 petrol stations from Eroski is a clear example of AXA Real Estate's strength in specialist and alternative real estate classes and our expertise in unlocking off-market opportunities through our pan-European network of local offices.

"The assets are well located, let on long leases to a strong tenant covenant and produce a good level of highly transparent income. They fit well with the current portfolio and will provide excellent complementary geographic and sector diversification.

"We have identified a strong pipeline of potential investments across Europe, as we look to deploy the remainder of the Venture's equity, and are keen to expand AXA Real Estate's activities in the alternative real estate sector."

Source: FD

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