Behringer Harvard announces that it is extending its international presence through an investment platform that targets commercial real estate acquisitions in Central Europe. The platform, known as Wenceslas Behringer Ltd., has recently acquired a portfolio of 22 retail and industrial/logistics assets located in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. Anchor tenants include Carrefour, Tesco, Royal Ahold and Plus. The properties will be jointly managed by Behringer Harvard and Edinburgh-based Hunter Property Management Ltd., which has a well-established presence in Central Europe.
"The business model that led to the formation of this unique platform is not new to Behringer Harvard. Co-investment with seasoned local partners has always been a hallmark of Behringer Harvard's approach to international investment. We're pleased that our continued growth is providing more partnering opportunities with European market leaders such as Hunter," said Robert S. Aisner, president of Behringer Harvard.
Behringer Harvard also has previously invested in European real estate through strategic partnerships with HCI Capital AG, one of Europe's largest suppliers of closed-end funds, and other significant private investors in the European market. In the United States, Behringer Harvard has partnered with PGGM, a Dutch institutional investor, to co-invest in the development of luxury multifamily communities.
Behringer Harvard made its first investment in Europe in March 2006 when it acquired the Tupolevlann office building northeast of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Subsequent Behringer Harvard investments in Europe include a multifamily complex in Hamburg, Germany which was acquired in April 2006 and is under contract for disposition. In October of 2006, Behringer Harvard acquired a portfolio of seven commercial buildings in cities surrounding Amsterdam, and Overschiestraat 63 and 65, a two-building office property in Amsterdam, was acquired a year later. Behringer Harvard also acquired a leasehold on an office property in the financial district of London, England in November 2007. Including the recent Central European investments, Behringer Harvard and its investment programs now own 33 European properties in seven countries.
Supervision of the investment platform targeting Central European investments will be one of the many roles performed by the managing directors of Behringer Harvard's newly formed European business unit, Oliver Georg and Olaf Fortmann. Georg said, "In spite of today's global economic challenges, Behringer Harvard is completing transactions, expanding its diversified international portfolio, and strengthening its capabilities to source and complete transactions and to manage real estate assets in Europe."
Source: Dr. ZitelmannPB. GmbH