Avison Young completes major investment transaction in Germany

PR Newswire

Real estate firm advises Canadian pension funds, will serve as asset manager

TORONTO, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing real estate services company, announced today that it has advised two Canadian pension funds in the acquisition and financing of a mixed-use, two-building complex at Luxemburger Strasse/Barbarossaplatz in Cologne, Germany.

The complex was sold by Frankfurt-based Allianz Real Estate Germany GmbH ("ARE") on behalf of Stuttgart-based Allianz Life Insurance. Allianz was represented by CBRE in the transaction. Avison Young will serve as asset manager of the complex.

DekaBank's real estate lending team based in Frankfurt provided a long-term debt facility for the acquisition of the complex.

The asset is a fully-leased modern office building with an adjacent mixed-use tower situated in the Cologne central business district. The asset is located next to various key Cologne public transportation routes, the University of Cologne, and the city's central retail area. 

With approximately 179,600 square feet (sf), or 16,687 square meters (sqm), of total leasable area, including 156,100 sf (14,502 sqm) of office space, 4,413 sf (410 sqm) of retail space and 11 residential units, the property has a prominent view of the surrounding city and countryside.

KPMG, a global leader in audit, tax and advisory services with member firms in 155 countries, is the primary office tenant.

The transaction represents the first direct investment in Germany for the Canadian pension-fund clients, and the inaugural asset-management mandate for Avison Young outside of North America. Terms of the transaction, which closed April 30, 2014, were not disclosed.

"We are proud that, with our strong global network, we were able to facilitate more North American investment management clients to enter the European real estate market," comments Avison Young Principal and Managing Director Udo Stöckl, based in Frankfurt, Germany.

He continues: "Our European and North American investment teams worked seamlessly across borders to provide the same level of service that our clients expect in North America. For our growing European team, it was also an exciting opportunity to introduce North American clients to an entirely new market that was previously unfamiliar to them. We took the opportunity to share with them, and our extended team, German business traditions and culture, and look forward to expanding that knowledge to other recovering markets in Europe."

Avison Young Principal Amy Erixon, who heads up Avison Young's investment management business, says the deal represents an important step in the evolution of Avison Young's global investment business beyond North America.

"We are grateful for the confidence placed in us by our Canadian pension-fund clients to secure investments on their behalf, which can provide diversification and more attractive risk-adjusted returns than comparable properties in Canada can offer at this point in the cycle," states Erixon, who is based in Toronto, Ontario.

"Our European investment team, under the leadership of Udo Stöckl, continues to source quality investments for a variety of international investors across the major markets in continental Europe and the U.K. With Europe emerging from its liquidity crisis, we expect to be able to consummate more attractive investments this year," she adds. 

Today's announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young launching its European presence by acquiring London, U.K.-based NAI Haywards LLC and opening new offices in London and Thames Valley, U.K. on April 1, 2014.

About Avison Young

Avison Young is the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 1,500 real estate professionals in 57 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

About Allianz Real Estate

Allianz Real Estate is the strategic centre of expertise in real estate within the Allianz Group and a leading international real estate investment and asset manager. Allianz Real Estate develops and executes worldwide tailored portfolio and investment strategies on behalf of the Allianz companies, considering direct as well as indirect investments and real estate loans. The operational management of investments and assets is currently performed in six international subsidiaries and hubs in Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, USA and Asia/Pacific. The headquarters of Allianz Real Estate are located in Munich and Paris. As of December 31, 2013, Allianz Real Estate has approximately €30 bn assets under management.

About the Deka Group

DekaBank is the asset manager of the German Savings Banks Finance Group, which is one of the largest banking groups in the world. The Deka Group comprises DekaBank and its subsidiaries. With assets under management totalling approximately €170bn (as of December 31, 2013) and approximately 4 million managed securities accounts, the Deka Group ranks among Germany's major securities service providers. The Deka Group's global property expertise is pooled in its Asset Management Property business division. Capital investment companies Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH and WestInvest Gesellschaft für Investmentfonds mbH manage and service fund assets in excess of €25bn (as of December 31, 2013), jointly with service company Deka Immobilien GmbH. DekaBank's property financing department is the second key element within the business division and generates a new business volume of some €2.5bn p.a.

For further information/comment/photos:

  • Sherry Quan, Principal, National Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: +1 604 647 5098; cell: +1 604 726 0959
  • Udo Stöckl, Principal, Avison Young: +49 69 7593 7233
  • Amy Erixon, Principal, Avison Young: +1 416 673 4034
  • Simone Knopf, Associate Analyst, Avison Young: +1 647 788 4078
  • Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: +1 416 673 4028

www.avisonyoung.com

Avison Young was a winner of Canada's Best Managed Companies program in 2011 and 2012 and requalified in 2013 to maintain its status as a Best Managed company.

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•Editors/Reporters: please click on links to view and download photos of KPMG office in Cologne, Germany

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