AXA acquires €800m iconic Paris tower

The French insurance giant has agreed to purchase the core office building in Paris-La Défense on behalf of an unnamed club of investors.

AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets has agreed to acquire the iconic Tour First office tower in Paris-La Défense. The deal value was undisclosed, but PERE understands AXA IM paid around €800 million for the core property.

The property investment arm of the French insurance giant made the acquisition on behalf of an unnamed club of investors seeking investments into core European real estate assets.

“This transaction represents a substantial investment in the European office market and matches our clients’ exacting requirements for high quality core assets. It demonstrates our confidence in the strength and prospects of the Paris office market,” commented, Pierre Vaquier, chief executive of AXA IM – Real Assets.

AXA IM purchased the 231-meters tall iconic office building from Beacon Capital Partners, the Boston-based real estate investment firm. The building comprises more than 863,500 square foot of prime office space across 44 office floors. Tour First is currently 83 percent let on long leases to two global blue-chip companies.

The property had been in AXA IM’s hands before, but in 2007 AXA IM sold a 50 percent stake in the property to Beacon on behalf of one if its clients. AXA IM and Beacon then undertook a comprehensive €300 million re-development program of the tower between 2007 and 2011. Upon completion of the redevelopment in 2011, Beacon acquired full ownership of the building.

“Having re-developed the tower between 2007 and 2011, we believe Tour First is now recognized as one of the most striking office towers in one of Europe’s foremost business districts,” added Vaquier.

AXA IM – Real Assets had projects under development valued at €10.8 billion as of September 30, 2015.