Germany’s largest pension fund Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK), with financial backing from Allianz, has acquired what is to become Apple’s European flagship store in France’s capital for €600m.
On behalf of BVK, real estate firm Hines and German investment company Universal-Investment have bought 114 Champs-Elysées, a 5,500sqm retail asset, along with the long-term lease with Apple from French investment firm EPI Group.
German insurer Allianz said its real estate arm has provided €300m to BVK to finance part of the acquisition price.
The asset will become Apple’s flagship store in Continental Europe after a refurbishment programme. The store is forecast to open before the end of the year.
In 2016, Hines was appointed by BVK to run a €1.3bn retail investment mandate as part of the pension fund’s European high-street strategy. In line with the strategy, BVK now owns high street retail assets in Oslo, Milan and the UK.
Lars Huber, CEO of Hines Europe, said: “This latest acquisition is an excellent example of our strategy to invest in prime permanent retail assets across Europe. This deal further demonstrates our strong partnership with BVK, and our commitment to the retail sector in France.
“We will continue to assess investment opportunities of similar high quality in Paris’ most dynamic locations.”
Xavier Musseau, a managing director of Hines France, said: “This transaction confirms how relevant our investment management model is proving to be, enabling us to secure off-market deals and increase our portfolio of assets under management to €3bn in France. Our aim is to continue to focus on the high-street retail sector.”
Evrard de Montgolfier, the deputy managing director at EPI in charge of investment, said: “This operation confirms the major work carried out by the EPI teams, from the acquisition in 2009 to the lease by Apple in 2018, thus offering a unique destination fit for Apple’s flagship on the Champs Elysées.”
Roland Fuchs, the head of European debt at Allianz Real Estate, said: “It was also an excellent opportunity to consolidate our relationship with Hines and BVK, while offering an attractive, long-term investment to Allianz investors.
”We expect European debt to play a continued central role in our asset growth in 2018 and beyond, both in core markets such as France and Germany but also in new territories.”
BVK, which manages €72bn of assets, has awarded a number of markets and sector-specific real estate strategies in recent years as it diversifies its exposure.