The Carlyle Group has announced it has acquired the "Linden-Park" center in Hanover-Linden, from Unternehmensgruppe Engel (UGE), Tutzing. Located on the Blumenauer Strasse and Spinnereistrasse in Hanover-Linden, the Linden-Park consists of over 200,000 m² of offices, retail units, apartments and parking spaces. The existing complex, built in 1970, was known as "Ihme-Zentrum," and will be renamed Linden-Park. Financial details are not disclosed.
UGE embarked on refurbishment and revitalisation works on the site more than six years ago and Carlyle has committed to take over the entire project and to continue the ambitious revitalisation project, with a significant investment in the works and revitalisation of the retail, office and residential complex. The works are scheduled to be finished by the end 2007/beginning 2008.
The works include the construction of a newly developed retail park on the ground floor with parking spaces, and a complete refurbishment of the former shopping mall on the first floor. Further, currently unoccupied office space will be modernized. Additionally the car parking and the street access for cars, pedestrian and bicycles will be improved and will enable far better access to the complex.
"This is an exciting opportunity to transform a 70's style complex into a modern and lively center involving office space, retail and residential," said Dr. Wulf Meinel, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group. "Herr Engel at UGE has achieved a long-awaited breakthrough on this project, and we are delighted that his long-term employee, Matthias Hess will act as an adviser for us on this project." Carlyle plans to develop an attractive and accessible complex for Hanover-Linden. "We are grateful to Mr. Benedict Höss of WEFORA Management for his important role in structuring this transaction and bringing it to us."
Frank-Michael Engel, CEO of UGE sees his plans for the project secured for the long term. He said, "I am delighted to have found such an experienced investor like Carlyle. Carlyle will continue the revitalisation of the former Ihme-Zentrum which I started more than six years ago. We have so far made substantial progress and are confident that within the envisaged time frame Hanover will soon see a vibrant new Linden-Park. I look forward to working with Carlyle and to the revitalisation of this project. The acquisition of the center by Carlyle as a leading financial investor is a great advantage for the project."
Carlyle made the investment from its second European real estate fund, Carlyle Europe Real Estate Partners II, a 760-million fund, which closed in September 2005. To date, the fund has made 18 investments throughout Europe with a total of 450,000m².
Carlyle was advised on the acquisition of Linden-Park by Clifford Chance Frankfurt. Financing is provided by Landesbank Berlin.