Norges Bank and AXA Real Estate agree Paris office joint venture on €1.4-billion property portfolio (NO/FR)

Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, and AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, acting on behalf of AXA France Insurance Companies, announce that they have entered into a joint venture (the 'Joint Venture') through which both parties will co-invest in Paris offices. AXA Real Estate will provide asset management services to the Joint Venture.

The Joint Venture has been created following an initial transaction in which AXA Real Estate intends to sell to Norges Bank a 50% interest in seven assets from its Paris office portfolio with a total value of €1.4 billion. The seven assets are all located in either the western or central business districts of Paris and provide a total gross lettable area of approximately 156,000 m².

The Joint Venture allows AXA France Insurance Companies to continue an ongoing strategy of rebalancing their exposure to large Paris office properties. At the same time, the transaction provides AXA France Insurance Companies with funds which it can reinvest across Europe to create a more geographically diverse portfolio, while still retaining a significant stake in attractive Paris office properties that will benefit from future upside potential and high quality income.

The Joint Venture portfolio will comprise the following assets:

• 12-14 Rond Point des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8e
• 1-3 / 2 rue des Italiens, Paris 9e
• 16 avenue Matignon, Paris 8e
• 24-26 rue Le Peletier, Paris 9e
• Meudon Campus, 92 Meudon
• OPUS 12, 92 La Défense
• 31-33 rue de Verdun, 92 Suresnes

Commenting on the Joint Venture, Karsten Kallevig, Chief Investment Officer Real Estate of Norges Bank Investment Management, said: "This acquisition enables us to gain a significant exposure to the Paris office market, one of our key European target markets. We look forward to a long and beneficial partnership with the AXA Group."

Pierre Vaquier, Chief Executive of AXA Real Estate, added: "To enter into a joint venture with such a highly regarded investor as Norges Bank is a clear endorsement of AXA Real Estate's standing in the European real estate market and its ability to work with world class real estate investors, as well as highlighting of the quality of the properties in its Paris office portfolio.

"The Joint Venture will allow AXA France Insurance Companies to reallocate capital and diversify into other European markets, especially the UK and Germany, while maintaining exposure to this important market by retaining a significant stake in the Joint Venture. We will continue to manage the portfolio and look forward to working with Norges Bank in this exciting partnership."

Source: FD

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