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EQT makes second real estate purchase via debut fund

Less than two weeks after securing its first property transaction, the London-based real estate arm of Swedish private equity giant EQT has acquired a second office asset in the French capital.

EQT Real Estate, the London-based real estate arm of Nordic private equity giant EQT, has acquired Le Doublon, a €51 million office asset in Paris.

The 320,000 square foot office building is located on Avenue Dubonnet, in Courbevoie in Western Paris, which lies between the main financial center, La Defense, and the central business district. It is also close to the proposed site of the future Grand Paris Express station, at Bécon les Bruyères.

Le Doublon has been described by EQT as “distressed” but the firm said it provides them with the opportunity to create a high-quality office space at a “compelling” rental price. It comprises a two building office campus with a communal restaurant, substantial landscaped gardens and 740 parking spaces.

The deal, the second in less than two weeks for EQT, is understood to have been made on behalf of the firm’s debut opportunistic property fund, also called EQT Real Estate.

“Le Doublon is a showcase of what EQT Real Estate is targeting in Europe – good value, underinvested assets with several value creation angles, located near strategic transport hubs that will benefit from future infrastructure investment and the associated amenities that come with it,” said Robert Rackind and Edouard Fernandez, partners and real estate co-heads at EQT.

This latest deal marks a busy summer for EQT, which is thought to have another transaction in the pipeline, this time in Cologne, Germany. In July, the firm bought a €33 million office asset in Rue Lauriston, in the heart of the city’s central business district, close to the Arc de Triomphe. The deal was a joint venture with EQT’s local partner, Paris-based asset manager STAM Europe.

Also in July, PERE revealed that EQT had raised €200 million in capital commitments for its debut fund from a combination of European institutional investors as well as seeding from EQT Real Estate itself. The vehicle has a fundraising target of €500 million. The fund is thought to have a fund life of eight to 10 years and a target internal rate of return in the region of 16 percent to 20 percent.

The capital raising and latest deal represent the second market activity for the giant private equity firm which launched its real estate business last year. Over the last year, the firm has been growing out its team, adding six executives to bring its real estate team up to 13.

Savills France and Ashurst advised EQT on the Avenue Dubonnet deal.