Author Archives: dboxdev

Benson Elliot acquires grocery-anchored convenience centre in Berlin for €65.5 m

Benson Elliot, the UK-based private equity real estate fund manager, has acquired a 18,600 sqm grocery-anchored retail asset from RDI REIT for €65.5 m. Located in the Steglitz-Zehlendorf borough in the south-west of Berlin, it is the first investment undertaken by Benson Elliot since the onset of Covid.

Set in a highly visible and well-connected position on Schloßstrasse, one of the capital’s prime high streets and most affluent areas, the centre benefits from direct access to the Walther-Schreiber-Platz U-Bahn station, and sits adjacent to one of Berlin’s busiest bus terminals. The property is arranged over the basement (U-Bahn egress), ground and first floors, with a 350-space car park located on two further upper levels. The centre is 97% occupied, with a mix of national and international retailers and a convenience / value offering that has proven to be highly resilient to e-commerce penetration. Tenants include Germany’s second largest supermarket chain, REWE, leading drugstore retailer dm-drogerie markt, as well as a two storey Primark.

Benson Elliot intends to reposition the centre by consolidating its grocery and convenience offering, optimising tenant composition, reconfiguring space and re-gearing lease terms. As one of the only retail formats to remain open during the Covid lockdown, grocery-anchored assets have maintained their appeal to institutional investors seeking secure income streams.

The investment marks a continuation of Benson Elliot’s German convenience retail strategy, following the acquisition of a portfolio of three regionally dominant centres in May 2019. The acquisition takes the firm’s German convenience retail holdings to c. €250 m.

Joseph De Leo, Senior Partner at Benson Elliot, said: “We continue to see long term value in market dominant, needs-driven retail formats. While the structural trends underpinning the retail sector have no doubt accelerated over the past few months as a result of the enforced lockdown, the benefits of grocery-anchored centres, which remained open because of the community services they provide, were also accentuated. This property is in a high footfall location and we believe significant value can be created by refining its offer. Moreover, in a low interest rate environment we’re confident that investors will continue to favour the stable cash flows offered by grocery-anchored formats in fast-growing, supply-constrained locales, let on sustainable rents to strong covenants.”

Modulus Real Estate, the Hamburg investor and asset manager, has taken a minority stake in the transaction. They will implement day-to-day project and asset management at the property.

ENDS

 

Benson Elliot verkauft Silvertower Objekte

Die Anlagen repräsentieren die verbliebenen Einheiten des ehemals 720 Einheiten umfassenden Silvertower Portfolios gelegen in Berlin Friedrichshain, welche Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners II, L.P. im September 2010 in einem Joint Venture mit Hirling Capital Investment Services GmbH erworben hatte. Der Geschäftsabschluss folgt dem Verkauf von ca. 50% des Portfolios im Juli 2012 an Akelius Berlin GmbH, ein Tochterunternehmen der schwedischen Akelius Fastigheter AB.

Der Verkauf erfolgte nach erfolgreichem Abschluss zahlreicher Asset Management Initiativen und Investitionen in enger Zusammenarbeit mit Hirling Capital Investment Services. Diese Initiativen führten zu einer signifikanten Reduktion des Leerstands, erhöhten Mieteinnahmen und zu einer Stabilisierung der Objekte. Die Höhe des Verkaufspreises an WBM und Akelius ist vertraulich.

Philipp Braschel, Principal bei Benson Elliot, sagte:

“Der Verkauf der verbliebenen Silvertower Gebäude schließt eine sehr erfolgreiche Investition für Benson Elliot ab und demonstriert unsere Fähigkeit Kaufgelegenheiten zu identifizieren, Investitionen zu managen und erfolgreich zu verwerten, um für unsere Investoren Werte zu schaffen. Wir sind von den attraktiven Investmentmöglichkeiten des deutschen Immobiliensektors weiterhin überzeugt und beobachten den Markt sehr genau.”

Zudem hat Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners III, L.P. im Mai 2012 das TOR Wohnportfolio mit 80 Gebäuden / 3.100 Wohnungen, erworben.

Lord Levene to Join Benson Elliot Advisory Board

Lord Levene brings a wealth of experience to Benson Elliot, from a career in industry, finance and government spanning more than 40 years. Currently Chairman of Starr Underwriting Agents Ltd, General Dynamics UK Ltd and the UK Ministry of Defence Reform Group, Lord Levene was previously Chairman of Lloyd’s – the insurance market – a position he held from 2002 to 2011. Before joining Lloyd’s Lord Levene served as Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank, having previously served as Chairman of Bankers Trust International, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Wasserstein Perella, and Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley.

Lord Levene started his career in the defence industry, and subsequently was appointed as Permanent Secretary in the UK Ministry of Defence responsible for Defence Procurement. He then served in a number of other government posts, including as Adviser to the Prime Minister on Efficiency. Lord Levene was appointed Chairman of the Docklands Light Railway in 1991 and Chairman and Chief Executive of Canary Wharf Group in 1993. He has served as an Alderman of the City of London, as well as Sheriff and Lord Mayor.

Lord Levene is currently a member of the board of Haymarket Group and Eurotunnel SA. Previous board memberships include China Construction Bank, Deutsche Borse, Eurotunnel, J Sainsbury plc and TOTAL SA. He holds a degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Manchester, as well as honorary degrees from City University and the University of London. Lord Levene was knighted in 1989 for his service to Defence, and subsequently received a peerage, whereby he sits on the cross benches of the House of Lords. He is a Commander of the Ordre National du Merite in France, a Knight Commander of the Order of Merit in Germany and also holds the Order of Merit in Hungary.

The Advisory Board comprises a group of senior business and former government leaders who provide strategic advice to Benson Elliot, bringing an external perspective to bear on investment strategy and portfolio management. Advisory Board members provide the firm with insight into public policy thinking as it impacts on private equity real estate, as well as sector-based inputs where appropriate.

Commenting on the appointment, Marc Mogull, founder and Managing Partner of Benson Elliot, said:

“Lord Levene is one of the most accomplished business leaders of his generation. He has an impressive record of achievement in finance and industry, and has served as a trusted adviser to government as well. His extensive knowledge of our sector, the finance sector, and the broader business and policy environment will provide Benson Elliot with important commercial and strategic insight. I am very pleased that he has decided to join the Advisory Board, and look forward to working with him as we grow our business.”

Lord Levene said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Benson Elliot team, and bringing my experience to one of the most accomplished and respected fiduciary service firms in the European property arena. I look forward to working closely with Marc, the partners of Benson Elliot, and the other members of this dynamic team.”

Benson Elliot Secures Consent to Convert Ealing’s Arcadia Shopping Centre

Benson Elliot, a leading UK-based private equity real estate investor, has secured planning consent from Ealing Council to convert the Arcadia Shopping Centre from more than 25 small shops into three large stores fronting Ealing Broadway. After construction has finished, this landmark site will re-emerge as ‘1-8 The Broadway, W5’.

The plans were voted through unanimously by Ealing Council’s planning committee last week (12 June 2013).

The Arcadia shopping centre will be comprehensively transformed inside and out. Inside, three new stores – a large unit on each of the lower and upper ground floors, together with a new corner unit – will be carved out of the current mish-mash of small shops and kiosks. Outside, a new façade comprising double-height glazing, fine metalwork, and elements of Ealing’s classic vernacular brick, terracotta and render will combine in a crisp and contemporary design that is both ambitious and confident, whilst respectful of local architecture and the site’s prominent location.

Peter Cornforth, Director of Retail at Benson Elliot, said:

“Our vision breathes new life into this hugely important site, turning the old Arcadia Centre inside out to create three prime shop units fronting The Broadway. It’s particularly encouraging to see major high street brands sharing our vision and launching their best-in-class formats with us in time for Christmas trading next year. Ealing Council’s unanimous vote to approve the scheme and the support of local civic and community groups through our consultation process sets the tone for a very bright future for the north side of The Broadway and the town centre as a whole.

“This first phase creates a platform to develop the strategy for our wider Arcadia site and since purchasing the portfolio in December 2012 we have acquired additional adjacent properties to round out our ownership. We are looking forward to consulting with the Council and community on the wider framework and continuing to deliver high quality proposals in this vibrant London location.”

Richard Haynes, Development Executive at Morrisons, said:

“We’re delighted to be bringing our unique fresh food offer to Ealing Broadway. Ealing is an exciting growth area and our new full format store here marks another important step in our London expansion programme. We’re looking for opportunities to invest, create jobs and bring great quality food shopping to new areas across London and the South and we look forward to continuing our work with Benson Elliot to do this in Ealing.”

The design improvements include:

  • A focal point of the scheme will be the new corner entrance on The Broadway and Spring Bridge Road, featuring a striking double-height retail facade below a new landmark illuminated ‘lantern’, featuring a clock.
  • The Broadway façade will be brought back into line with the rest of the high street, with new double-height shop windows creating an open and inviting frontage.
  • The building’s tired Spring Bridge Road façade will have its existing shop fronts re-glazed and terracotta panelling added to the refurbished brickwork, creating a contemporary, high quality façade in this sensitive setting alongside the listed church.

Benson Elliot is working with Allies & Morrison, whose portfolio includes a number of landmark developments in London, including the widely acclaimed refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank and sensitive mixed-use town centre schemes including Hereford and Winchester.

Ahead of the decision last week, Benson Elliot consulted with Ealing Council, the Business Improvement District, local interest groups and the wider community.

This major reconfiguration marks the first step in a comprehensive regeneration of the Arcadia site’s town centre contribution. Benson Elliot acquired the 2.8 acre Arcadia portfolio, including the Arcadia shopping centre, in December 2012 for around £40 m. In March 2013, Benson Elliot acquired 12-14 The Broadway from Legal & General. This takes Benson’s Elliot’s total investment in Ealing town centre to circa £45 m. Later this year, the company will begin consulting on a strategy for the rest of the site they own.

The redevelopment of the Arcadia portfolio will contribute towards the regeneration of Ealing town centre, reinforcing it as one of London’s most prosperous and well-connected areas. The arrival of the £18 billion Crossrail project from 2018 will further improve the area’s accessibility, reducing commuting times to central London by up to 50%.

Tenant details: Morrisons will occupy a 47,000 gross sq ft ‘Fresh Market’ store at 1-8 The Broadway W5, and the two other retailers are TX Maxx and McDonald’s. TX Maxx will trade on the upper level still, but expand across the rest of the floor and will have a new Broadway entrance incorporating escalators and lifts, and will re-open their Spring Bridge Road entrance. McDonald’s will move across to the old HMV unit, accessed from the Broadway corner. The rest of the lower floor will be let to Morrisons.

McDonald’s and TK Maxx will be able to continue trading throughout the building works.

 

About the Arcadia Portfolio

The properties were assembled between 2006 and 2008 by Glenkerrin, an Irish developer. They planned to develop a c.1,000,000 sq ft mixed retail and residential scheme; while the Glenkerrin proposals for regeneration gained the backing of LB Ealing, at a subsequent Public Inquiry the proposed scale and height were considered not to be in keeping with the adjoining Conservation Areas. In 2011, Glenkerrin was declared insolvent, resulting in all company assets being transferred to the National Asset Management Agency (“NAMA”).

On 29 October 2012, Benson Elliot exchanged contracts with Malcolm Shierson and Martin Ellis of Grant Thornton acting as Joint Administrator of Glenkerrin (UK) Limited and Joint LPA receiver over the assets of The Broadway Partnership for the acquisition of the Arcadia Portfolio, the major part of a 2.8-acre island-block in Ealing town centre, West London. Benson Elliot completed the deal on 7 December 2012.

The redevelopment of the Arcadia portfolio will contribute towards the regeneration of Ealing town centre, reinforcing it as one of London’s most prosperous and well-connected areas. The arrival of the £18 billion Crossrail project from 2018 will further improve the area’s accessibility, reducing commuting times to central London by up to 50%.

Benson Elliot founder Marc Mogull has led the funding of urban regeneration projects across Europe during the past twenty years, and is the UK Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, the pre-eminent global land-use organisation. The Arcadia Site transaction represents the fifth investment for the €500 million Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners III fund.

 

Morrisons – different and better than ever

Morrisons is one of the UK’s biggest food retailers, with 490 stores, and we’re the only British supermarket to have our own food processing sites, abattoirs and even a farm. We employ expert livestock buyers to pick animals straight from the farmer and we are unique in making almost a quarter of the food we sell in store ourselves, giving us unrivalled control over our supply chain. We’re committed to supporting British farming, that’s why all Morrisons-branded fresh meat and everything on our butchers’ counters is 100% British. And we have more skilled specialists on hand to prepare more fresh food in store than any other retailer, with over 6,000 fully trained crafts people in our stores including butchers, bakers, fishmongers and cheesemongers. Every week, over 11 million customers pass through our doors and more than 131,000 colleagues across the business work hard each day to deliver great service to them. Our aim is to give our customers more of what matters to them, offering great quality food at low prices.

Marc Mogull Appointed Fellow of Cambridge’s Hughes Hall

Marc has worked closely with the University for several years. He was a founding member of the Cambridge Land Economy Advisory Board (CLEAB), and last year joined the faculty of the Land Economy Department as a Senior Fellow. Marc teaches Real Estate Development – a required course for the MPhil in Planning, Growth and Regeneration – during the Lent term, bringing his 25 years of experience into the classroom and helping to prepare the next generation of global industry leaders.

Hughes Hall is Cambridge’s oldest graduate college, and has strong links with the Department of Land Economy. The College includes amongst its Fellows Professor Ian Hodge, who headed Cambridge’s Department of Land Economy from 2002 to 2011. Through its unique City Fellows scheme the College appoints Fellows who are active in the City of London to help create closer links to the UK business community, and to bring to the College useful professional skills.

Marc is one of the most experienced and respected principal investors in Europe. Before founding Benson Elliot in 2005 he established and managed the successful Doughty Hanson & Co European Real Estate Fund (42% gross IRR; 4.1x gross equity multiple). At Doughty Hanson Marc directed the acquisition and management of a €2 billion property portfolio, comprising office, retail, residential and industrial properties in eight countries across Europe.

A leader in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe, Marc established the property team at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 1993. He assumed responsibility for the EBRD’s hotel investments in 1995, and shipping finance in 1997. During Marc’s tenure at the EBRD, he was responsible for funding over twenty development transactions in the real estate and hotel sectors, with a total cost in excess of €1 billion. Marc began his European real estate career at Goldman Sachs, which he joined from Chicago-based JMB Realty Corporation.

Marc has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, magna cum laude, from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration, summa cum laude, from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. In addition to his work with Cambridge and his leadership of Benson Elliot, Marc serves as UK Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, is a visiting lecturer at Oxford University’s Said Business School, a member of the Bank of England Property Advisory Forum, and, in 2011, was elected an Eminent Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Commenting on his Hughes Hall appointment, Marc said: “I am enormously proud to be appointed to the Fellowship at Hughes Hall. I have great respect for the College’s leadership, its commitment to graduate education, and – perhaps less well-known – its pioneering role in the education of women at Cambridge. This appointment is an important milestone in my affiliation with Cambridge University, and in particular with the Land Economy Department. It remains an honour and a pleasure to share the knowledge gained during a long career in property with students who will someday drive investment activity and public policy in the UK and internationally.”

Sarah Squire, President of Hughes Hall, said: “Marc is a highly respected and well known real estate professional, who has had a significant influence on the property sector during his career – both through his investment activities and his work in the policy arena. He is an inspirational lecturer, and will be a valuable addition to the Fellowship at Hughes Hall. We are firmly focused on providing our students with the best possible preparation for their careers beyond Cambridge, whether academic or professional. Marc’s participation in our City Fellows scheme will afford our business students access to his unique understanding of the global environment and his wealth of public and private sector experience.”

Benson Elliot Launches Plans to Convert Ealing’s Arcadia Shopping Centre

Benson Elliot, a leading UK-based private equity real estate investor, is submitting plans to convert the former Arcadia Shopping Centre from over 25 small shops into three large retail units fronting Ealing Broadway. The name ‘Arcadia Shopping Centre’ will go, and the fully refurbished building will be known as 1-8 The Broadway, W5.

Benson Elliot acquired the 2.8 acre Arcadia portfolio, including the shopping centre, in December 2012 for around £40m. This major reconfiguration marks the first step in the comprehensive regeneration of the site. A Planning Application for the scheme will be submitted this week (Wednesday 20 March 2013) to Ealing Council.

The old shopping centre will be comprehensively transformed inside and out. Inside, three new stores – a large unit at each of the lower and upper ground floors, together with a new corner unit – will be created to replace the current mish-mash of small shops and kiosk traders. Outside, glazing and greater detail will be added to the bland brickwork of the current building, creating a crisp and contemporary design that is both ambitious and in keeping with local architecture. The Arcadia Centre name will disappear and the new retail units revert to 1-8 The Broadway.

  • The main focus of the building will be the new corner entrance on The Broadway and Spring Bridge Road, which will feature metal-framed, double-height windows below a new landmark terracotta illuminated ‘lantern’ featuring a clock
  • The shopping centre’s Broadway façade will be brought back into line with the rest of the high street, with new framed double-height shop windows creating an open and inviting frontage
  • The building’s tired Spring Bridge Road façade will have its existing windows re-glazed and terracotta panelling added to the refurbished brickwork, creating a tidy, high quality and calming setting alongside the church

As part of the project’s development, Benson Elliot has consulted with Ealing Council, the Business Improvement District and the local community. Benson Elliot is working with Allies and Morrison, who are credited with a number of landmark developments in London, including the widely acclaimed refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank and sensitive mixed-use town centre schemes including Hereford and Winchester.

Peter Cornforth, Director of Retail at Benson Elliot, said: “Our vision is to resuscitate the struggling Arcadia Centre, turning it into three contemporary retail units fronting The Broadway. It’s very encouraging to see major high street brands and retailers expanding their presence, or entering the town centre for the first time. Given the number of vacant units on high streets up and down the country, we see this as a major vote of confidence in Ealing.”

Benson Elliot has secured three tenants: Morrisons will occupy a 47,000 gross sq ft ‘Fresh Format’ store at 1-8 The Broadway W5, and the two other retailers are TX Maxx and McDonald’s. TX Maxx will trade on the upper level still, but expand across the rest of the floor and will have a new Broadway entrance incorporating escalators and lifts, and re-open their Springbridge Road entrance. McDonald’s will move across to the old HMV unit, accessed from the Broadway corner. The rest of the lower floor will be let to Morrisons.

McDonald’s and TK Maxx will be able to continue trading throughout the building works.

Matthew McMillan, Chief Executive Officer, Ealing Broadway Business Improvement District said: “Ealing is on the up. Benson Elliot’s initial investment in the Arcadia Portfolio and now this commitment to create space for three large stores at 1-8 The Broadway is good news. With British Land recently buying the Broadway Centre, Land Securities coming onboard for the Cinema Quarter development and St George’s success at Dickens Yard, business and investor confidence in Ealing is really gathering pace. We look forward to continued momentum and discussing Benson Elliot’s plans for their phase two development shortly.”

At the same time Benson Elliot also announced the acquisition from Legal & General of 12-14 The Broadway. This takes Benson’s Elliot’s total investment to circa £45 m in the town centre. Later this year, the company will begin consultation on proposals for the rest of the site they own.

 

About the Arcadia Portfolio

The properties were assembled between 2006 and 2008 by Glenkerrin, an Irish developer. They planned to develop a c.1,000,000 sq ft mixed retail and residential scheme; while the Glenkerrin proposals for regeneration gained the backing of LB Ealing, at a subsequent public Inquiry the proposed scale and height were considered not to be in keeping with the adjoining Conservation Areas. In 2011, Glenkerrin was declared insolvent, resulting in all company assets being transferred to the National Asset Management Agency (“NAMA”).

On 29 October 2012, Benson Elliot exchanged contracts with Malcolm Shierson and Martin Ellis of Grant Thornton acting as Joint Administrator of Glenkerrin (UK) Limited and Joint LPA receiver over the assets of The Broadway Partnership for the acquisition of the Arcadia Portfolio, the major part of a 2.8-acre island-block in Ealing town centre, West London. Benson Elliot completed the deal on 7 December 2012.

The Benson Elliot redevelopment and upgrade plans will contribute towards the regeneration of Ealing town centre, reinforcing it as one of London’s most prosperous and well-connected areas. Furthermore, the £18 billion Crossrail project currently underway will also significantly improve the area’s accessibility, reducing commuting times to central London by up to 50% from 2018.

Benson Elliot founder Marc Mogull has led the funding of urban regeneration projects across Europe during the past twenty years, and is the UK Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, the pre-eminent global land-use organisation. The Arcadia Site transaction represents the fifth investment for the €500 million Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners III fund.

Morrisons – different and better than ever

Morrisons is the UK’s fourth largest food retailer with 500 stores. Our business is mainly food and grocery – the weekly shop. Uniquely we source and process most of the fresh food that we sell though our own manufacturing facilities, giving us close control over provenance and quality. We only sell 100% British fresh beef, lamb, pork and poultry and we have more people preparing more food in store than any other retailer including butchers, bakers and fishmongers. Every week, more than 11 million customers pass through our doors and more than 132,000 colleagues across the business work hard each day to deliver great service to them. With competitive prices and hundreds of special offers, we are proud to save our customers money every day.

Benson Elliot Strengthens Retail Team with Appointment of Peter Cornforth

With over 25 years of experience as a manager, operating partner and consultant in the real estate investment industry, Peter has directed the acquisition, refurbishment, leasing and disposition of major retail schemes across the UK. Peter is particularly accomplished in repositioning centres in response to emerging retail trends and evolving consumer preferences, both of which are increasingly driving local market dynamics.

One of Peter’s key roles will be to lead the asset management and repositioning of the Arcadia retail portfolio in Ealing, London, upon its completion, working alongside Benson Elliot Partner and UK Head Phil Irons. Benson Elliot recently exchanged contracts to acquire the Arcadia assets from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

Peter is a Chartered Surveyor, MRICS qualified, and holds a BSc in Land Management from Reading University.

Trish Barrigan, Senior Partner at Benson Elliot, said: “Peter has extensive retail experience and a proven track record in the sector. His appointment underlines our commitment to recruiting highly skilled individuals to support our growth and deepen our internal expertise. Success in defining and executing operational strategies will be decisive in delivering superior investment performance during the coming years and, in that regard, we expect Peter to make a significant contribution to the Benson Elliot team.”

Benson Elliot Acquires Arcadia Site in London’s Ealing Town Centre

The site, which comprises the Arcadia shopping centre and a number of adjacent high street retail units, dominates the heart of Ealing’s Broadway retail pitch. On completion of the transaction, Benson Elliot plans to undertake a phased redevelopment, details of which will be provided in due course.

Phil Irons, Partner at Benson Elliot, said: “This is a great opportunity to revitalise a key part of Ealing’s town centre and we look forward to working with Ealing Council and the local community to realise its potential.”

Malcolm Shierson of Grant Thornton, added: “This is a strategically important site for Ealing and we are pleased to have found a purchaser whose aspirations for the asset are aligned with its potential.”

London & Associated Properties and GCW advised Grant Thornton in the transaction, whilst Strutt & Parker advised Benson Elliot.

 

About the Arcadia Site

The site was assembled between 2006 and 2008 by Glenkerrin, an Irish developer. They planned to develop a c.1,000,000 sq ft mixed retail and residential scheme; whilst Glenkerrin’s proposals for regeneration gained the backing of LB Ealing, at a subsequent public Inquiry their scale and height were considered not to be in keeping with the adjoining Conservation Area. In 2011, Glenkerrin was declared insolvent, resulting in all company assets being transferred to the National Asset Management Agency (“NAMA”).

Benson Elliot’s redevelopment and upgrade plans will contribute towards the regeneration of Ealing town centre, reinforcing it as one of London’s most prosperous and well-connected areas. Furthermore, the £18 billion Crossrail project currently underway will also significantly improve the area’s accessibility, reducing commuting times to central London by up to 50% from 2018.

Benson Elliot founder Marc Mogull has led the funding of urban regeneration projects across Europe during the past twenty years, and is the UK Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, the pre-eminent global land-use organisation. The Arcadia Site transaction represents the fifth investment for the €500 million Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners III fund.

Benson Elliot Completes Berlin Residential Sale to Akelius

Through this transaction, Benson Elliot has sold c. 50% of the 720 units in the portfolio, for a consideration significantly above acquisition price. The disposal was made upon the successful completion of a number of asset management initiatives, which resulted in a reduced vacancy rate, increased income and a stabilisation of the assets.

Akelius owns 13,300 residential units in Germany with 6,800 located in Berlin. The growth in 2011 and 2012 has been significant with Akelius acquiring 1,900 residential units in Berlin and another 2,200 residential units in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Frankfurt.

Joseph De Leo, Senior Partner at Benson Elliot, commented: “This sale demonstrates our ability to source opportunities, manage investments and successfully exit transactions to create value for our investors, notwithstanding the on-going challenges in the European real estate market. We continue to believe that the German residential sector offers attractive investment opportunities, and are closely monitoring the market to take advantage of the right deals when they become available.”

Pär Hakeman, CEO Akelius Germany, commented: “We are very happy to close another transaction in a strong developing area in Berlin. As a long term investor we see very good opportunities to continue to develop the properties and to raise further potentials with our own management team.”

 

About Akelius 

Akelius GmbH is Sweden´s biggest privately-owned housing provider. Akelius owns and manages 35,000 apartments in Sweden, Germany, UK and Canada. The market value of the property portfolio is €3.7 billion, the turnover €290 million and 200 employees. The German portfolio contains 13,300 apartments. It is managed by 60 employees spread over five offices. The company´s ambition is to double in size over the next seven years.