Flemish Community fulfills most important real estate transaction in Belgium in 2004 (BE)

On Friday 24 December, 2004 the cabinet council of the Flemish Community approved the sale of real estate shares for the amount of €234,2 million to the AXA Group. CB Richard Ellis and ConnectImmo (the real estate division of Belgacom) advised the Flemish Community in this complex real estate transaction, which was the biggest in the Belgian real estate market in 2004.

The transaction consists of a sale-&-lease-back structure, based on a transfer of a 99-year lease of four buildings with a surface of approximately 60,000 m² to AXA, that will be leased back by the Flemish Community via an 18-year lease contract.

In October 2004, the ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen (PMV, the Flemish investment company) confirmed the acquisition of five buildings by the Community of the Flemish Region to a contemporary association of CB Richard Ellis and ConnectImmo, who acted as the real estate advisors in the transaction.
The five buildings are situated on:
Boulevard Albert II, 1000 Brussel
Rue aux Choux, 35, 1000 Brussel
Avenue de la Toison d’Or, 72, 1000 Brussel
Porte de Halle, 27, 1000 Brussel
The sale of the fifth building, located on Rue des Colonies and hired by Vlaamse Huisvestingmaatschappij, was cancelled on 24 December, 2004.

The transaction is part of the Flemish Community’s aim to realize an amount of € 195 million of debt capital in the financial year 2004-2005.

The sale was fulfilled through a procedure of registration, during which potential investors could apply at CB Richard Ellis for one of the buildings or the whole portfolio. Every investor got access to a website, provided by CB Richard Ellis, offering more information about the projects concerned.

This procedure appeared to be a great success and surpassed the expectations of both PMV and the Flemish Community.

According to Gaétan Clermont, CB Richard Ellis’ delegated administrator “the Brussels market offers good opportunities to investors in commercial real estate, thanks to the stable and a-cyclic character of the European capital. The transaction proposed by the Flemish Government offers the security of long term income on the high quality buildings, that have already attracted the attention of Belgian as well as foreign investors. The return on this transaction confirms the interest of institutional investors for this kind of products at a time when the long term tax on return is particularly low.”

Source: CB Richard Ellis

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