Perella Weinberg sells former AIG Tower in Paris

LaSalle and Quantum Global Real Estate, which acts for an African sovereign wealth fund, have purchased Tour Blanche in La Défense for €161 million.

Perella Weinberg Partners, the New York-based advisory firm, has made an exit from its pan-European opportunity fund business by selling Tour Blanche in Paris for €161 million to a joint venture between LaSalle Investment Management and Quantum Global Real Estate.

Tour Blanche is a 277,500-square-foot, Grade A office in La Défense that is fully let to ERDF, a subsidiary of electricity provider EDF. Perella Weinberg pre-let the building to ERDF in 2013, in the midst of a €41 million refurbishment and nearly a year before it was ready for occupation. The letting to ERDF stands as the first pre-leasing of an entire building in La Defense since 2008.

The tower was built in 1967 as an office for American International Group (AIG) and become a ‘first generation’ high riser in La Défense. Perella Weinberg bought Tour Blanche from Chartis Europe – the name that AIG reverted to following its $182 billion bailout in the wake of the financial crisis. Chartis vacated the building in 2012, and Perella Weinberg then drafted in Altarea Cogedim as property advisors. 

The acquisition by LaSalle and Quantum follows the creation of a joint venture between the pair in February 2012. Called Plaza Global Real Estate Partners, the venture was created to target quality long-term investments in the world’s premier real estate markets. Including leverage, Plaza was set up with $1 billion of initial buying power and seeks to invest in excess of $100 million per outlay. So far, it has invested in Mayfair in London, Fifth Avenue in New York, Munich and now Paris.

Simon Marrison, LaSalle’s chief executive for Europe, said: “Tour Blanche is an exceptional asset in an established and liquid market with strong growth potential for a long-term investor such as Plaza.”