07/02/2015 Company | Aurelis
Union Investment sells business park portfolio to Aurelis
First portfolio purchase by Aurelis comprising a total of around 104,000 sqm of rental space – Union Investment leverages continued strong demand to reduce the average age of its portfolio
Aurelis Real Estate GmbH & Co. KG has acquired four business parks from Union Investment in Düsseldorf, Cologne, Liederbach (Frankfurt/Main) and Wiesbaden with total rental space of around 104,000 sqm. Details of the purchase price were not disclosed. The buildings at the four locations were constructed between 1988 and 2001 and had belonged to the portfolios of open-ended real estate funds Unilmmo: Deutschland and UniImmo: Europa for over 20 years in part. This sale continues Union Investment's ongoing strategy of reducing the average age of its portfolio. In 2014, the Hamburg-based real estate investor sold older properties worth a total of EUR 1 billion and acquired younger properties for EUR 2.4 billion.
The portfolio sale is the second transaction between the two parties. In April, Aurelis bought a business park in Kirchheim near Munich from Union Investment, comprising approximately 28,700 sq m of rental space. Aurelis focuses on acquiring commercial properties and sites for development. Its goal is to add value to the properties, e.g. through development or refurbishment.
This transaction is Aurelis' first portfolio purchase and the acquisition boosts the company's existing rental portfolio in the corporate real estate segment. The total annual rent generated by the properties is currently approximately EUR 9.4 million. The portfolio comprises space for office, warehouse and service uses. There are currently 90 tenants across the four locations, representing a letting ratio of around 80 per cent.
Joachim Wieland, CEO at Aurelis, believes the purchase is a perfect fit with the company's holdings: “Within our rental portfolio, we focus on business parks as well as properties for warehousing/logistics, light industry and outdoor space. If the entry prices are attractive, we invest in properties located in economically strong locations and which offer an opportunity for value appreciation. By adopting a comprehensive approach and individualised strategy, we leverage the commercial and property management potential of the assets.”
“Reducing the average age of our portfolio is an active precaution against risk in our funds, and we constantly strive to improve the age profile of our properties,” said Dr Frank Billand, a member of the management team at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH, Hamburg. “This portfolio sale sees us disposing of the last business parks in our holdings because properties in this use segment no longer meet the strategic investment criteria for our funds. Against the backdrop of persistently good market opportunities, this was also the ideal time to sell,” added Billand.
The Düsseldorf property is located in the district of Heerdt, five minutes from the A52 motorway. A total of approximately 35,000 sqm of rental space for warehouse and office use is spread across eight buildings, with parking also included. The current anchor tenant, with approximately 5,200 sqm, is security provider Securitas. The second business park, comprising 18,800 sqm of rental space, is located in the Rodenkirchen area of Cologne.
The property in Liederbach is located on the western outskirts of Frankfurt. Its close proximity to the A66 motorway provides excellent transport links to other business locations in the area. With a total of approximately 32,500 sqm of rental space, this is the largest facility in the newly acquired portfolio. The main tenant is Techem Energy Services GmbH, which occupies almost 4,500 sqm of space. The Wiesbaden business park, meanwhile, offers rental space of some 17,400 sqm. The principal tenant is a major car manufacturer, which currently rents 10,000 sqm. The property is part of the Petersweg retail, production and logistics location and has direct links to the B455 trunk road and A3 and A5 motorways.
Union Investment was advised on the legal aspects of the deal by the Hamburg office of law firm GSK Stockmann + Kollegen, via a team led by Dr Michael Jani, and on tax aspects by the Frankfurt office of GSK Stockmann + Kollegen, with Dr Petra Eckl in the lead role.