LONDON - Anglo-French property company Hammerson has sold its Les Trois Quartiers office and retail property in Paris to private equity real estate investor MGPA for 210 million euros ($300 million), both parties said on Wednesday.
The long-awaited deal is one of the largest real estate transactions seen since the global banking crisis tipped Europe's booming commercial property market into a tailspin in 2007.
The 29,700 square metre property is currently 96 percent let and generates rent of 19.8 million euros a year. The property was valued at 275 million euros at December 31.
MGPA said 140 million euros of the purchase price was funded by third-party debt and 30 million euros through a vendor loan provided by Hammerson.
Hammerson said the sale proceeds would be used to reduce net debts.
The acquisition was funded by MGPA's Europe Fund III, part of the larger MGPA Global Fund III, which closed in June 2008 after raising $5.2 billion. MGPA Europe Fund III raised $1.3 billion of capital and has already made investments in Italy, Greece and Poland, but remains largely uninvested.
We are positive about the long term prospects for the Paris market especially relative to other core real estate markets in Europe. Paris offers a degree of resilience in the downturn due to the broad base of its economy, Alex Jeffrey, MGPA's chief executive for Europe, said in a statement.
Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen-Girozentrale and Deutsche Postbank AG financed the acquisition through a 4-year mortgage of 140 million euros, MGPA said.
(Reporting by Sinead Cruise; Editing by Rupert Winchester)