Orion Capital Managers has bought a shopping center in Paris for around €70 million in an example of how France is providing some attractive deals for opportunity funds.
The London and Paris-based company, which is currently deploying its €1.3 billion Orion European Real Estate Fund IV fund, has bought the Domus shopping center in the outskirts of Paris from KP Investments, a subsidiary of Dutch group, Rabo Real Estate Group which is itself a subsidiary of Rabobank and is phasing out real estate development activities.
Aref Lahham, one of the co-founders of Orion – which is soon to be unveiled as the largest dedicated European private equity real estate firm in the forthcoming annual PERE 50 ranking – said in a statement: “Our business plan is to capitalise on the new tenants and to relaunch Domus with a comprehensive marketing campaign and capital investments to improve the customer experience.”
The Domus center was completed in 2006 and is a covered mall focused on home products and furnishings. It is anchored by local and international home retailers including Alinéa, Boulanger, Truffaut, Roche Bobois, Natuzzi, BoConcept and Zodio which is opening its new store at the end of April. It is located at the junction of the A3 and A86 highways, four kilometres east of the Paris ring road.
The deal comes at a time when several investors are picking off deals in France, which is laggging other European countries in recovering economically.
In another example, The Qatari investment fund Dubai International Capital (DIC) has bought a 8.55 percent stake in French REIT Société Foncière Lyonnaise worth around €150 million.
The REIT owns a €3.8 billion office and retail portfolio predominantly in the central business district of Paris and is ultimately controlled by Spanish property company, Colonial.
KKR also just recently announced the acquisition of a €104 million French retail portfolio of four centers from listed company, Corio, and prior to that, in February, Lone Star Funds agreed to buy the giant Paris Coeur Defense office complex ahead of a July deadline for the building's owners to repay about €1.5 billion of debt.
In the PERE France Roundtable hosted in Paris in February and published in March, Stéphane Theuriau, senior executive vice president at French firm, Altarea Cogedim, said: “Just last week, I discovered two transactions off-market that sound pretty attractive to me, (and) I am a little bit more optimistic. It has been seven years since the crisis, with lots of changes, and the more interesting things are ahead of us.”