The Austrian listed real estate company IMMOFINANZ Immobilien Anlagen AG has taken an important step in the development of its position in Italy, acquiring an interest for just over 100 million in the Italian real estate company Fondo Immobili Pubblici (FIP) through its regional holding IMMOWEST. The interest was acquired by means of private placement and is one of the most coveted investment opportunities to appear on the Italian market in the last few years.
In fact, FIP has a virtually unique real estate portfolio which it acquired from the Italian government. It includes 400 office buildings with total lettable space of 2.6 million m² and fair value of 3.7 billion. All objects are fully rented to the Republic of Italy through the government property office Agenzia del Demanio for 18 years, thereby generating long-term, stable and guaranteed returns.
With a stake of six percent, IMMOFINANZ is one of the biggest shareholders. Other partners include leading international and Italian investors. Management is being handled by the renowned Italian real estate specialists BNL Fondi Immobiliari and Pirelli & C. Real Estate.
The portfolio is well-distributed geographically, though the focus of the investment lies in the economically strong regions of Northern Italy, where 48% of the properties are located. In particular, the properties in Milan (185,000 m2) are located in first-class areas and represent 13.7% of the total real estate assets. Turin accounts for an additional 110,000 m2, Genoa for 70,000 m2 and the political centre Rome for 300,000 m2. FIP is not likely to make any investments beyond the existing portfolio, though the holding is to be optimized in the next few years through individual sales.
"Italy, especially the economically strong regions of the North, is an important segment of our core Central European market," says Chairman Karl Petrikovics. "With the FIP holding we can considerably expand our position in Italy and have also invested in the best portfolio that has come on the market in years and which promises extremely attractive returns. Moreover, we at FIP have a first-rate management team with an outstanding reputation and excellent contacts, and in Italy that is a crucial advantage."
In addition to the interest in FIP, IMMOFINANZ continues to hold a stake of over 50% in a joint venture with the US real estate company Carlyle Real Estate in Italy. Originally consisting of 230 properties totalling 270,000 m2, this portfolio has now been sold, to a large extent at high profits, and is currently composed of 23 properties totalling 91,000 m2. The Italian share in the overall portfolio has risen to 5.1% as a result of the investment in FIP and together with Germany (5.2%) it is the most important Western foreign market for IMMOFINANZ.