US opportunistic fund manager Ares Management is buying a Brussels office park from Segro for €83.4m.
Segro said it exchanged contracts to sell its Pegasus Park asset near Brussels airport to LA-based Ares. The sale, part of Segro’s strategy to divest office parks first announced in 2011, will close later this year.
Ares said it would increase the value of buildings and attractiveness to tenants in the 81,500 sqm park by improving amenities and upgrading landscaping. With vacancy at 20%, analysts at JP Morgan estimate that 67% of the asset’s income is at risk in the next years.
In a note, the analyst said income security was “crucial” and could prove to be a “tough task”.
Ares’ activity in Europe has increased in recent weeks. Last week, a consortium including Ares sold a portfolio of BBVA bank branches in Spain to Merlin Properties for €740m. The Tree Inversiones portfolio had been owned since 2009 by Ares, Deutsche Bank, Europa Capital and Banca March.
Rafael Aviles, Ares Management head of real estate, said the company would remain active in its search for new opportunities in the Spanish market.
In London, Ares recently agreed to pay £110m for a majority stake in residential developer London Square. The stake, which will be sold by Graphite Capital later this month, will give Ares access to a pipeline of homes under development in the UK capital. London Square is aiming to build 1,000 homes a year with the M25 and has six sites under construction, having completed schemes in Shoreditch, Wimbledon and Ruislip.
The takeover of AREA Property Partners by Ares last year gave the company further exposure to European real estate. AREA has invested in London’s St Katharine Docks, as well as in French offices, German mixed-use real estate and Polish retail.