JP Morgan, GIC team up for Frankfurt skyscraper

A core fund managed by JP Morgan Asset Management focussed on Europe and the US has bought the landmark OpernTurm tower from Tishman Speyer and UBS in a joint venture with the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.

A landmark office tower in Frankfurt, Germany, has been sold by Tishman Speyer and Swiss bank UBS to a joint venture between a core fund managed by JP Morgan Asset Management and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).

The pair has teamed up on a one-off basis to acquire the 42-storey OpernTurm skyscraper that New York developer-cum-fund manager Tishman Speyer completed at the end of 2009.

It is let to multiple tenants including law firm Allen & Overy as well as UBS.

The sale of the OpernTurm has been closely watched in Germany given the size of the asset.

During a Germany Roundtable discussion published in this month’s PERE magazine, Tishman Speyer’s managing director of capital markets, Matthias Hünlein, said the building had a price tag of €500 – €600 million.

The firm had tried before to sell the office, but had been unsuccessful. In 2008, an agreement with a German open-ended fund managed by KanAm fell through in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers' collapse.

Law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised JP Morgan while Berwin Leighton Paisner acted for GIC.

Tishman Speyer and UBS were advised by Clifford Chance, Linklaters , Richard Ellis, BNP Paribas and UBS Investment Bank.

The deal wraps up a particularly frenetic period of real estate activity for JP Morgan in its asset management division as well as corporately.

Earlier this week it was revealed how JP Morgan had acquired 60 Victoria Embankment in London from The Carlyle Group.

On 15 December, JP Morgan Asset Management said it had acted on behalf of two institutional clients in buying the Bishops Square office complex again in London.

Further, the Wall Street bank has bought Lehman Brothers’ former European headquarters building in London’s docklands for its own occupation for £495 million.