As part of its strategy for rapid expansion into European commercial real estate, the U.S. real estate investment trust (REIT) North Star Realty Finance Corp. has bought a €1.1 billion pan-European office portfolio.
North Star began its expansion into Europe in December 2014 and this was its first acquisition. Formerly owned by SEB Asset Management, the portfolio is comprised of 11 office buildings in seven of Europe’s business hubs – Brussels, Paris, Hamburg, Milan, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Gothenburg and London. The total leasable area is 186,000 m2 and all the properties are currently let to blue-chip tenants.
Since its first purchase in Europe, the US group has been building up a collection of European assets amounting to a portfolio worth €1.9 billion. This includes a 15% stake in pan-European group Aerium, which manages around €6.1 billion of real estate assets in 12 countries.
NorthStar also recently bought the Trias pan-European portfolio for €450m. This portfolio is comprised of 37 properties in eight countries and includes assets in Paris, London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Madrid, Lisbon and Glasgow. The assets include 30 offices, four retail and one industrial property, and two hotels, with a total gross leasable area of 259,000 m2.
Commercial real estate commentators say that big international investors like North Star are seeking pan-European portfolios that have a good mix of properties. They are looking for a stable cash-flow, but also for potential for capital growth. As a major global business center, Paris is a popular target for investors.
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