Fortis AG, one of the leading insurers in Belgium and one of the operational companies of Fortis, signed an agreement with Security Capital European Realty concerning the acquisition of Bernheim Comofi.
The companies expect to finalise the transaction in May 2002, provided they obtain the approval of the authorities concerned. The purchase price of EUR 525 million will be fully paid in cash. In this transaction, Fortis Bank acts as advisor to Fortis AG.
Fortis Real Estate, a part of Fortis AG, is the real estate asset manager of Fortis in Belgium and manages a portfolio of EUR 3 billion for Fortis AG, FB Insurance and Fortis Bank.
Bernheim Comofi operates in three real estate investment fields. They own 85 % of â€œInterparkingâ€; the remaining 15 % belong to Imocobel, the company of the founding family. Bernheim Comofi also holds 100 % of the shares of Bernheim Asset Management and of Bernheim Real Estate Development.
The â€œInterparkingâ€ portfolio includes 263 covered off-street parkings offering 130,255 spaces in seven countries and 79 cities. Interparking is the major player in Belgium, Germany and Italy, and number two of the market in France, the Netherlands, Spain and Austria.
In Belgium, Bernheim Asset Management (BEAM) is market leader in real estate asset management for the benefit of third parties. After introducing the first real estate certificates in the sixties, BEAM has issued in 1995 the second largest SICAFI, Befimmo. The value of the real estate managed for third parties amounts to EUR 1.5 billion.
Bernheim Real Estate Development specialises in developing property on prime locations mainly in Belgium.
The total value of the assets of this transaction is above EUR 1 billion.
Jozef De Mey, CEO of Fortis AG: â€œBernheim Comofi is an excellent opportunity to diversify the real estate investments of Fortis AG, both as regards the kind of products (car parks versus offices and retail properties), and the geographical location. This transaction also strengthens the position of Fortis Real Estate as a leader in the real estate asset management business in Belgium and offers interesting opportunities to develop financial products for the general public. We wish to extend a hearty welcome in the Fortis group to the personnel of Bernheim Comofi and its subsidiaries and we look forward to working with them to ensure the further growth of their group.â€