GERMANY - The German real estate company Patrizia Immobilien AG has hired Matthias Moser to head its new operations in the field of distressed property.

Following the purchase of the LB Immo Invest last December, Patrizia is currently in the middle of a major restructuring process.

One of the new services the real estate group intends to offer to institutional clients is "alternative investments" focussing on "complex, non-standardised real estate transactions".

Patrizia noted in a press release: "This can include the purchase of real estate companies or portfolios which are financially or operationally distressed."

To head this new sector the company hired Matthias Moser, the former head of Germany for the Fortress Investment Group, which focuses on alternative investments.

With its real estate expertise, Patrizia hopes to restructure, manage and reposition distressed portfolios or companies which might have survived the crisis but would now have to be re-financed, posing a challenge to some owners.

In an unrelated transaction, Patrizia has purchased a residential complex with 478 flats and a commercial unit with a total floor space of 30,572 sqm in Munich from the insurance company HDI-Gerling Lebensversicherungs AG.

The almost fully-let site was built in 1969 and will now be completely redeveloped to enhance living standards, Patrizia said.

The company's chief operating officer Klaus Schmitt told IP Reall Estate that this kind of transaction was quite common.

"At the moment it is difficult to get hold of good residential properties in top-city locations in Germany," Schmitt said, adding that many owners currently felt no pressure to sell objects in their portfolio as they often have not decided what to do with the capital invested.

However, this changes when a property matures and needs refurbishment.
Schmitt pointed out that many pension funds and insurers often decide to sell them instead of redeveloping themselves.