DIFA Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG has acquired a portfolio of three office properties in Paris from listed French real estate investment company Sophia.
Comprising floor space of around 22,000 square metres, the total volume of investment amounts to approx. 141 million euros. The Le Cap, Malesherbes and Le Levant properties are situated in the established Parisian office markets of La Défense, the 8th arrondissement and Boulogne-Billancourt respectively, and are all fully let. Launched on 1 April 2004, the strategy of the DIFA-Global Fund is initially to assemble a portfolio in European markets outside Germany. The acquisition of Le Cap and Le Levant is part of this process, and the new fund´s portfolio will then be built up gradually by entering the core markets of North America and Asia, followed by selected emerging markets.
The third property from the Sophia portfolio, the combined office and residential building Malesherbes in the heart of Paris´ central business district, will be added to the DIFA Immo-Invest portfolio.
Having acquired the Radisson Hotel Manchester Airport in April, this institutional fund has now likewise completed its first office investment outside Germany. Malesherbes is fully let to the French subsidiary of SAP.
Located in Boulogne-Billancourt, a southwest suburb close to the city centre, the Le Levant office complex is let to the Société Générale Group. Le Cap is situated adjacent to DIFA´s existing Le Wilson property in La Défense, Paris´ second most important office location, where DIFA has acquired some 47,000 square metres of office space since 1999. The sole tenant is the television channel Télévision Francaise 1 (TF1).
'In the start-up phase of an internationally diversified property fund such as DIFA-Global, the crucial buying criteria are stable rental returns from the outset, creditworthy tenants and attractive growth potential', says Dr. Reinhard Kutscher, the DIFA board member responsible for acquisitions at the Hamburg-based subsidiary of Union Investment. 'With a comparatively low volume of new space coming onstream in the last cycle, Paris offers excellent opportunities for investments that deliver stable cash flow.'
The DIFA retail funds DIFA-Fonds Nr. 1, DIFA-GRUND and DIFA-Global currently hold 14 properties and projects in the French capital, plus two affiliated companies.