Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Scheme (OMERS) has made its first office purchase in Europe, buying a Paris office property for €263m.
Oxford Properties Group, the pension plan’s real estate arm, said it had bought the fully-let 32 Rue Blanche in central Paris from The Carlyle Group at an “attractive entry point”.
Oxford chief executive Michel Vauclair said OMERS was looking to build a €1bn portfolio in Paris over the next three to five years, having invested €3bn in the UK.
Vauclair said: “We will invest in assets where we can drive value through active asset management initiatives, where we are able to leverage our scale and experience, and where we believe that current values do not reflect future market improvements.”
Oxford said OMERS views Paris as a “key global business and cultural centre, and one of the most transparent and liquid real estate markets worldwide”.
The market’s “relative stability, robust level of business activity and occupational demand” – as well as long-term constraints on new supply – made the French capital an attractive place to invest.
In March, OMERS said it would source investments – including infrastructure – for Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). GPIF, the world’s largest pension fund, and DBJ have committed an initial $2.5bn (€1.8bn) to OMERS’s Global Strategic Investment Alliance (GSIA) investment programme.
Last year, OMERS joined forces with The Crown Estate in the UK in a £320m (€374m) central London development deal.