Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is investing €677m to buy a 50% stake in the Sony Center building complex in Germany’s capital.

NBIM, which oversees Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, is acquiring 44.9% of Oxford Properties Group’s stake and Madison International Realty’s entire 5.1% interest in the asset situated in Berlin.

Global real estate investor Oxford Properties will retain a 50% interest in the €1.35bn property and act as asset manager on behalf of the new joint venture with NBIM.

Oxford Properties and New York-headquartered Madison International Realty bought the Sony Center for approximately €1.1bn from Korea’s National Pension Service in October 2017.

The Sony Center, comprising 113,000sqm of prime office, retail and residential space, attracts more than 7m visitors annually. It spans nearly six acres and comprises eight individual buildings, including the iconic Bahn Tower.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Oxford Properties announced a €200m master-planned redevelopment of the Sony Center. Major construction activity has begun, with the majority of the redevelopment expected to complete by the end of 2023.

Abby Shapiro, senior VP and head of office, retail and life sciences in Europe at Oxford Properties, said the deal further expands the firm’s relationship with NBIM, a ”highly strategic and like-minded partner, which shares our long-term conviction in Berlin”.

“Having realised significant value, we will reinvest back into Sony Centre to improve the customer experience. We continue to have a favourable long-term view in Germany and are actively looking to grow our business in the country, particularly in the German logistics market,” Shapiro said.

Diana Shieh, co-head of portfolio and asset management, MD for Madison International Realty, said: “Sony Center is one of the most recognisable assets in Berlin, and Madison has experienced a transformation of the estate throughout its long-time partnership with Oxford Properties since 2017.

”Having executed our business plan, which included the creation of a masterplan for the future, we are pleased to crystallise our stake through this recapitalization and look forward to seeing this campus reach its full potential over the coming years.”

Jay Drexler, office, retail and life science VP in Europe at Oxford Properties, said the partnership with NBIM serves as further validation of the firm’s ”ambitious master-planned vision” for the Sony Center.

”It will bring better quality, more sustainable and flexible workspaces, coupled with new amenities that include safe and secure bike parking to promote a healthy commute, fitness facilities and services dedicated to well-being.” 

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