Tishman Speyer returns to Paris office play

Tishman Speyer has marked the beginning of the year by returning to the Parisian office market after a long spell in 2007 in which it became a net seller of property in the French capital.

US developer and fund manager Tishman Speyer is purchasing an asset in the Rueil-Malmaison district, eight kilometres west of central Paris.

The net seller of Paris offices in the first half of 2007 said in a statement that it had exchanged contracts to buy the building called Le Cristalia near La Defense from Bristol-Myers Squibb for the Tishman Speyer European Core Fund. It is the second purchase by the fund.

Bernard Penaud, managing director in France, said the firm had been eyeing the 22,000-square metre property for 18 months.

“It’s a trophy asset benefitting from an excellent visibility and accessibility,” he said.

In an interview, Penaud says the firm became a net seller of Paris offices in the first six months of 2007 but he goes on to hint that this might change in 2008.

“We feel that a new time has come to invest. This is because some very aggressive buyers have disappeared a little bit, but there is something else: The French market is less exposed to the financial market than London. That means people consider Paris is not the worst bet you can make in a troubled situation around Europe.”

The firm has not disclosed the value of the deal.

This month, PrivateEquityRealEstate.com’s sister publication, PERE , features a profile of the European team of Tishman Speyer in which Penaud makes the comments.