COIMA SGR to commit €500m to Italy – exclusive

The Milan-based investment and asset management firm has acquired a series of properties in Milan totalling around €300 million and has two further properties valued at €200 million under offer.

COIMA SGR, the former Italian platform of Houston-based developer-cum-fund manager Hines, will make investments in Italy totalling roughly €500 million before the year-end.

The Milan-based investment and asset management firm was spun out of Hines by the Houston-based firm’s former Italy country head, Manfredi Catella, in September. Catella acquired a majority stake in the business for an undisclosed sum and renamed it COIMA SGR.

The firm made four acquisitions in Milan on behalf of a separate account with Italian savings bank Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca Foundation which has now finished investing and totalled around €100 million.

The purchases include the Italian headquarters of UBS located in Via Crespi, an office located near Piazza della Repubblica, an office building located at Via Winckelmann outside Milan as well as two newly built retail boxes.

On Monday COIM SGR acquired the historical building that housed Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, an Italian subsidiary of BNP Paribas, in Piazza San Fedele in Milan for an undisclosed amount. However, a source close to the matter said the investment was “in excess of €100 million”.

The trophy property in Piazza San Fedele was acquired through the COIMA QIA fund, whose investor is the sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
COIMA SGR also established a joint venture with family office, the Feltrinelli group, to develop and asset manage a Milan office and retail project which is expected to cost €100 million to complete.

The firm also has two other transactions totalling €200 million which are in the process of finalizing on behalf of unnamed sovereign wealth funds which are expected to close by December 31.

In the last 24 months, the COIMA SGR team has invested more than €1 billion in Italy mainly on behalf of institutional investors.

However, COIMA SGR founder and chief executive Catella plans on bolstering the firm’s assets under management and said the firm is “preparing to start up new investment vehicles dedicated to Italy”. For instance, to invest in income-producing properties, COIMA SGR plans to list a real estate investment company on the Italian Stock Exchange in early January. QIA will act as the first cornerstone investor of the initiative.

Currently, COIMA SGR manages 15 real estate investment funds, with investments valued at more than €5 billion.