Oxford Properties, the global real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), and New York-headquartered Madison International Realty are buying the Sony Center in Berlin for approximately €1.1bn from Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS).
The acquisition marks Oxford’s entry into the Berlin market and comes less than a year after it enterered into a joint venture with Madison International to co-own another prime real estate asset, Paternoster Square in London.
The Sony Center is a 112,000sqm mixed-use complex located on Potsdamer Platz, in the heart of Berlin’s Mitte district. It spans nearly six acres and comprises eight individual buildings, including the iconic Bahn Tower, with 85,000sqm of prime office space, 20,000sqm of retail and leisure space and 67 residential units.
Major office occupiers include Deutsche Bahn, Facebook, Sanofi, Sony, the State of Berlin and WeWork, while retail occupiers include LegoLand, IMAX and Cinestar.
Hines bought the Sony Center in 2010 on behalf of NPS for €585m from Morgan Stanley.
Following the recently announced €500m acquisition of Window in La Defense, Paris, Oxford’s first transaction in Berlin brings its continental European assets to approximately €2.3bn, representing 40% of its total UK and European assets.
Paul Brundage, executive vice president and senior managing director for Europe at Oxford Properties, said: “It will complement our existing Paris portfolio, which now comprises 112,700sqm of space across four properties.
“This acquisition is a meaningful step toward achieving our stated strategy of reaching CAD5bn [€3.4bn] of assets under management in continental Europe by 2020, focusing on Berlin and Paris.
“This strategy is backed up by our longstanding commitment to the central London office, high-street retail and build-to-rent residential sectors.
“This acquisition gives Oxford the scale to build a platform in Berlin with an ‘on-the-ground’ team.”
Ronald Dickerman, president and founder of Madison, said: “Our strategic relationship with Oxford formed around prime assets in Paternoster Square, London has now grown to include the iconic Sony Center in Berlin.
“We share a commitment to investing in world-class properties alongside world-class real estate professionals which is the embodiment of this transaction.
“The Oxford-Madison dynamic differentiated itself and will now allow us to close on and execute an impactful business plan on what is the most iconic asset in Europe.”
The acquisition will complete in the fourth quarter. CBRE and Greenberg Traurig advised Oxford and Madison. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer represented Madison.
Hines advised NPS Korea.