After years of speculation Unibail has just announced that it sells 51%of its equity stake in SCI Karanis to Whitehall Investments, that owns the Coeur Defense office in Paris. In addition, the company sells the subordinated loan of Euro 505mln to Goldman Sachs and Hypo Real Estate. The transaction will be completed shortly.
After the transaction Unibail´s commitment to Coeur Defense will drop to Euro 81mln. As a result the leverage of the company will fall from 40% to 28%, which generates room for new investments or special dividends for shareholders. If the company will opt for a special dividend, the payment will not take place in 2004, as the tax treatment for French investors will be more favorable in 2005.
The Coeur Defense office is valued at Euro 1,345mln (net yield is 6.6%), which is 1.5% above the 2003 year-end appraisal value and more than 100% above Unibail´s investment value of total Euro 665mln in the period 1997-2001.
Source: ABN AMRO Real Estate