Allianz JV bags €1.85bn Irish loan portfolio

The German insurance giant and retail property REIT Hammerson acquired the loans which are secured against shopping centers and core retail development opportunities in Dublin, Ireland.

German insurer Allianz and London-listed retail property REIT Hammerson have together acquired a €1.85 billion portfolio of loans from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). The face value of the loans is €2.57 billion.

The 50:50 joint venture will see the pair purchase the ‘Project Jewel’ portfolio of loans secured against retail assets in Dublin, including Dundrum Town Centre, a well-known shopping center in the city.

“Our investment into Project Jewel is an important step to a further diversification of Allianz’s real estate portfolio,” said Annette Kröger, chief executive of Allianz Real Estate Germany. “It is a very attractive opportunity to get exposure to the dynamic Irish market. We are pleased to cooperate again with Hammerson as our JV partner.”

Opened in 2005, Dundrum, which has 1.5 million square feet of space and is considered by some as a super-prime European shopping centre, has 120 shops, 38 restaurants, a 12-screen cinema and 3,400 car park spaces. It is located in the affluent southern Dublin catchment.

The acquisition also includes Dundrum Phase 2, a 6-acre site located directly adjacent to Dundrum Town Centre. The site provides the opportunity to expand the successful Dundrum retail and leisure offering or to develop with a complementary mixed-use offering.

“This agreement provides Hammerson with exposure to a significant new platform of high quality, well-let retail property as well as strategically located development opportunities in Ireland, Europe’s fastest growing economy,” said David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive. “The transaction fulfils our strategy to focus on growing a portfolio of high-quality retail destinations in prime locations, which stand to benefit from high footfall, attractive catchments and positive consumer trends.”

Hammerson will act as the asset and development manager of the portfolio.