One of the largest portfolio transactions of the year is nearing completion with the signing of the purchase agreement for the Aqua property package. French company Amundi Immobilier is acquiring the €1 bln Aqua portfolio from Union Investment Real Estate GmbH. Amundi is one of Europe’s largest asset managers, with assets under management of €850 bln, around €11 bln of which is invested in real estate.
The purchase agreement for the Aqua portfolio is subject to the usual closing conditions, with transfer of the portfolio to Amundi expected in the fourth quarter of 2015. The real estate transaction was implemented within just five months as part of a structured sales process. The bidding process was launched in March 2015 and involved nine investors in total. Negotiations took place exclusively between Union Investment and Amundi from June onwards. Union Investment was advised on the transaction by Jones Lang LaSalle, London, and Clifford Chance. Amundi Immobilier was advised by Cushman & Wakefield.
The Aqua portfolio comprises 17 office properties with around 278,000 m² of rental space in six Western European countries, with a 75% focus on the UK (London, Glasgow, Cardiff), France (Paris) and Germany (Ismaning, Ratingen, Frankfurt/Main). Other locations are Vienna, Helsinki, and Rotterdam. The properties generate annual gross rental income of around €60 mln. At the time of sale, 96.6% of the space was let (based on rental income). The portfolio is broadly diversified across 145 office tenants.
The portfolio also features a high level of diversification by bringing together properties worth between €25 mln and €147 mln. The average property value is approximately €50 mln, while the average age is slightly above 10 years. Properties from four Union Investment Real Estate open-ended real estate funds were combined in the sales package – UniImmo: Deutschland, UniImmo: Europa, UniImmo: Global and UniInstitutional European Real Estate. The largest contributor is the €10 bln UniImmo: Europa, with seven properties and a 37% share of the portfolio. The properties sold include the Duetto Business Park, Helsinki; Nord 1 in Frankfurt’s Europaviertel district; and Westferry Circus in Canary Wharf, London.
Source: Union Investment