CB Richard Ellis has facilitated a change of ownership of one of the most coveted Austrian real estate portfolios. Austrian real estate investor Rene Benko (Signa Holding) has signed the purchase contract for the real estate package of the former union bank BAWAG PSK, which had been in full possession of the US fund Cerberus since May. The portfolio, comprising 16 prime properties in top locations in Vienna, Graz and Innsbruck, comprises usable space of approximately 140,000 m².
CB Richard Ellis, in partnership with NAI Otto Immobilien, was awarded the mandate to sell the portfolio of commercial properties, which was completed in only a few months. The purchase price has not been disclosed, but according to BAWAG, who will invest the proceeds of the sale in future development of the company, the deal was appropriate to market conditions. A second package of bank-owned properties is intended for sale in early 2008.
Andreas Ridder, managing director of CB Richard Ellis Austria, said: "This deal is a huge success for our investment team, which we enjoyed working hard on and seeing through to this successful sale."
"Both the instruction and the sale reflect our ability to successfully coordinate innovative solutions for clients, whether local or large-scale international transactions such as this one. It's an exciting and high-profile project and is the largest commercial property portfolio ever up for sale in Austria."
Outbidding other interested parties such as the Bayrische Landesbank and Lone Star, the private equity fund Cerberus had acquired the former workers' bank for a purchase price of 3.2 billion at the end of 2006.