Altarea is in talks to acquire European real estate investment and asset manager Primonial Group.

The French listed property developer said it had entered exclusive negotiations with Primonial’s shareholders and management to acquire 60% of the company in the first quarter of 2020 and the remainder in Q1 2024.

The merger would create “an unrivalled group in Europe” covering real estate savings, investment and property development, it said.

Altarea is looking to acquire Primonial’s €30bn real estate asset management business, its €12bn distribution business and a minority stake of 15% in €13bn multi-asset fund manager La Financière de l’Echiquier (LFDE) – the remaining 85% of LFDE would be retained by current shareholders.

Alain Taravella, Altarea group chairman and founder, said: “Continuing to strengthen its skills platform to serve its clients, Altarea has identified the asset management market as a fast-growing sector and a natural extension of its business.

“Primonial Group, independent leader in this sector, offers a complementary fit with our business profile and entrepreneurial DNA on many counts. It is a leading asset manager with a compelling track record in asset gathering and distribution among institutions and individuals, with a model of revenue growth, recurrence and resilience, international development potential, and experienced and recognised management.

“The move will allow us to take our growth strategy in the promising urban transformation and real estate savings markets by providing Primonial Group with support for its development and long-term visibility. Together, we will form an unrivalled platform of expertise and skills in Europe, creating value for our customers, partners and employees.”

Stéphane Vidal, who will remain chairman of Primonial Group should the takeover go ahead, said: “With this project, which gives us a new dimension, we are choosing to join forces with an industrial group characterised by its entrepreneurial spirit and long-term vision, a real estate leader in the urban transformation market.

“Together, we will invent a new operating model and continue to innovate in the service of our respective and shared clients. We will thus be able to take our development plans to an even higher level by positioning ourselves on new types of developments and gaining market share with an original and comprehensive approach.”

Under the agreement, Laurent Fléchet, deputy CEO of Primonial Group, would continue to lead European real estate investment management alongside Juergen Fenk and Stéphanie Lacroix. They would be assisted by local leaders: Grégory Frapet in France, Juergen Fenk in Germany, Fabrizio Bonavita in Italy and Ronan Bodere in Luxembourg.

Rachel de Valicourt, CEO of Primonial Ingénierie & Développement, would continue to lead and develop the group’s advisory and distribution activities, alongside Anne Bonfils, deputy CEO in charge of marketing, and Latifa Kamal, deputy CEO in charge of product strategy and asset engineering.

Brice Gimeno, president of DS Investment Solutions, would continue to oversee the group’s structured products business.

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