Swiss Life Asset Managers has acquired the HBC Europe Service Centre in Cologne for a fund of its subsidiary Swiss Life Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft (Swiss Life KVG). Along with other companies, department store chain Galeria Kaufhof as well as retail businesses Saks OFF 5TH and Hudson’s Bay Netherlands all belong to HBC Europe. This marks one of the first purchases by Swiss Life Asset Managers for Swiss Life KVG, which was founded at the end of November 2016. The single-tenant office building is leased on a long-term basis. The seller is WealthCap, Munich, an investment manager for tangible assets. The purchase price is a nine-figure sum.
The previous Galeria Kaufhof head office based at the traditional seat of the retail company on Leonhard-Tietz-Straße, near the Neumarkt in the centre of Cologne is being converted into the HBC Europe Service Centre with a modern workplace environment. The connected office buildings have a total area of 38,000 m², which HBC Europe makes full use of together with Galeria Kaufhof and other sales channels of HBC Europe. The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has been the parent company of Galeria Kaufhof GmbH since October 2015.
"With the acquisition of the HBC Europe Service Centre in Cologne, we are delighted to be able to offer our investors an office property with a long-term lease in an excellent Cologne city centre location", says Ingo Hartlief, CEO and spokesperson of Swiss Life KVG.
"Before the sale, we were able to extend the lease agreement of the top property and therefore increase the value of the property during the holding period of the fund by more than 30% through active asset management. With this sale, we achieved a very positive result for the investors in our HFS Deutschland 16 fund," says Gabriele Volz, Managing Director of WealthCap.
Corpus Sireo, the German property subsidiary of Swiss Life Asset Managers, was responsible for sourcing as well as the purchasing and due diligence processes and received legal advice from Pöllath + Partners. JLL played an intermediary role as the transaction consultant.
Roy Brümmer, Head of Investment & Transaction at Corpus Sireo Real Estate, says: "We made this purchase as a joint investment for two Swiss Life vehicles. This investor group currently has high investment needs. We are therefore still looking for investment properties, portfolios and co-investment opportunities for all types of use.