Ardian teams with LaSalle for French debut

Following the joint purchase of a Paris office Ardian Real Estate has now entered two European real estate market this year, following its Italian debut in February. 

Ardian Real Estate, the property business of Paris-based private equity firm Ardian, and LaSalle Investment Management, the Chicago-based real estate investment manager, have teamed up to acquire an office building in the French capital. The deal is Ardian’s first in its home market.

The eight-story Europa Building, located in the Levallois district, in the west of the city, is of Grade A standard and measures 265,000 square feet and offers floor plates of 27,000 square feet.

The transaction was funded using capital from two separate pan-European vehicles, one from each firm. However, neither the joint venture nor the seller, which was Lagardère, the French media group, would disclose the names of the vehicles or a price. Ardian was also asked to provide performance expectations for the asset, but by press time, that also had not been disclosed.

The joint venture did confirm that it was planning to completely refurbish the building, once Lagardère leaves the premises, and added that a number of other deals for similar office assets in Paris would follow this deal.

“This marks our first real estate acquisition in France, having already completed numerous deals across Europe,” said Stéphanie Bensimon, managing director of Ardian. “Real estate is one of the pillars of Ardian's future growth plans, and an area where we can benefit from the many opportunities that arise as a result of our multi-local and long-term positioning,” added Bensimon.

“It was the property’s strategic location and size which is perfectly suited to large users combined with the aging supply of office stock in the market which underpinned our belief in the building’s potential,” said Karim Habra, head of France at LaSalle. “As such, we will continue to prioritize the refurbishment and development of such buildings located in established office markets in the Paris region,” he added.

The transaction also marked the second new territory Ardian has entered this year following the February purchase of an Italian office portfolio. The firm acquired six office assets in Rome, Milan and Bari for around €300 million on behalf of its Ardian Real Estate Europe Fund (AREEF) vehicle. The seller was Prelios, the Milan-based real estate investment manager, which sold the assets from its Cloe fund.