PARIS, 19-Jun-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets (“AXA IM – Real Assets”), a global leader in real asset investments and the leading(1) real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe, announces that it has completed the acquisition, on behalf of AXA CoRE Europe Fund(2), in an 85/15 joint venture with Sonae Sierra, of Area Sur Shopping Centre (“Area Sur”) in Jerez, Andalusia, Spain, from Union Investment. Sonae Sierra, the international company dedicated to develop and service vibrant retail-centred properties, will act as property and retail manager of the asset.
The 47,000 sqm shopping centre, spread across one ground and two upper floors, with 2,344 parking spots, is over 90% let to 86 tenants on good covenants, representing a diverse range of quality and retail and leisure outlets.
The centre benefits from good public transport links and excellent vehicular accessibility, located between the N-IV main road and A-4 motorway, which sees 30,000 cars passing daily and provides a catchment area estimated at 450,000 people(3). The asset’s regional dominance is enhanced due to its adjacent position to the complementary Luz Shopping retail park, which together deliver the largest commercial retail scheme in Andalusia.
The strategy of AXA IM – Real Assets, together with its joint venture partner Sonae Sierra, is to maintain the high occupancy level whilst undertaking a number of value enhancing asset management initiatives to improve the vibrancy and consumer experience.
AXA IM – Real Assets’ continues to invest in dominant European retail and leisure centres which are located in strong cities or places of high footfall which are tourist destinations in their own right. This transaction is also in line with the strategy of the AXA CoRE Europe Fund, the flagship pan-European open ended real estate fund of AXA IM – Real Assets, which aims at giving clients access to a diversified range of high quality pan-European investments, aiming to provide long-term stable income through capitalising on individual market dynamics and timing. This acquisition is an ideal addition to the Fund’s portfolio, which already comprises an interest in Tour First in Paris La Défense, the Asticus and Warwick Buildings in London, and an interest in a landmark office asset in Milan. The Fund exceeded €800 million of total commitments by the end of March 2017.
Hermann Montenegro, Head of Asset Management & Transactions, Spain, at AXA IM – Real Assets, commented: “This well-located asset in one of the fastest growing regions of Southern Spain, currently experiencing a return of consumer confidence, represents a strong addition to our managed portfolio of retail assets. The diverse and established tenant line up at Area Sur will generate attractive income, whilst the potential to deliver significant uplift through further asset management initiatives represents a longer-term focus. Our local team in Spain remains well placed to continue sourcing opportunities that fit with our investment strategy and benefit our clients.”
Nathalie Charles, Regional Head of Asset Management & Transactions, Southern Europe, AXA IM – Real Assets, said: “This is our first transaction in partnership with Sonae Sierra, one of Europe’s leading retail property professionals and we look forward to the opportunity to partner with them in the future on projects across Europe.”
Pedro Caupers, Chief Investment Officer at Sonae Sierra, added: “We will devote our experience and know-how accumulated over more than 25 years with the aim of improving the performance of the asset and finding value creation opportunities at Área Sur, converting it into one of the shopping centres of reference in the south of Spain. At Sonae Sierra we are permanently searching for new and innovative asset management initiatives, with the aim of achieving a superior return on investment for our investment partners. Likewise, we are very satisfied to undertake this project together with AXA IM – Real Assets, following our model of co-investing with other partners, assuming responsibility for management to achieve the objectives set by both parties.”
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1) Source: IP Real Estate Top 100 Investment Management Survey – Nov/Dec 2016
2)The Fund is managed by AXA REIM SGP, a subsidiary of AXA IM – Real Assets. The Fund is reserved for professional investors (within the meaning of the AIFMD) from the following jurisdictions: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Investment in the Fund is speculative and involves substantial risks including risk of loss.
3)CACI & INE 2015
AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets
Charline Coué, Media Relations Managers, Real Assets
Jocelyne Tamssom, Head of Communications, Real Assets
Tel +33 1 44 45 97 95
FTI Consulting Inc.
Richard Sunderland, Ellie Sweeney, Richard Gotla, Tom Gough
Tél. : +44 20 3727 1000
SOURCE: AXA Investment Managers