SFPIM purchased office portfolio from European Commission for €880m (BE)

SFPIM purchased office portfolio from European Commission for €880m (BE)

The Belgian government, through its investment company SFPIM, is purchasing a portfolio of 23 office buildings from the European Commission. The Belgian fund Cityforward, established by SFPIM and Ethias and managed by their Brussels-Antwerp partner Whitewood, will transform 21 of these buildings in the European district into 70% best-in-class sustainable offices and 30% residential units and public facilities. These additional residential units will ultimately double the number of families living in the heart of the European district. Starting from 2028, the first new residents and office workers can move in.


This transaction marks the beginning of a major transformation operation aimed at creating the most sustainable offices for European institutions, anchoring them in Brussels for the coming decades.


The European Commission has sold a portfolio of 23 buildings to SFPIM, with SFPIM in turn, having sold 21 of the buildings located in the European district to Cityforward. The two other buildings sold by the European Commission are located outside the European district and are therefore not included in Cityforward.


The European Commission, SFPIM, and Cityforward agreed on a market price of c. €880m for the 21 buildings in the European district. This amount is based on the analyses of two external and independent experts and has also been adopted as a one-time payment for the 99-year leasehold rights that SFPIM has granted to Cityforward.


The necessary funds to acquire the portfolio were raised through a combination of equity provided by a consortium of institutional investors and senior debt financing provided by a group of six lenders. ING acted as the sole coordinating bank and bookrunning mandated lead arranger, in close cooperation with Cushman & Wakefield Debt & Structured Finance (“ED&SF”). Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, Helaba and KBC acted as mandated lead arrangers.


Whitewood AIFM is Cityforward’s Fund manager, certified to manage funds of this magnitude.


Cushman & Wakefield ED&SF advised Cityforward on the financing, while Linklaters and Clifford Chance acted as legal counsel to Cityforward. Allen & Overy acted as legal counsel to the lender group.


The final signatures for the sale of the buildings and the funding of Cityforward were made on Monday, April 29, 2024. 


Image provided by Cushman & Wakefield.


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