Wednesday 29 March 2017

Former ECB HQ sold to US investor

European Central Bank's headquarters (ECB) is pictured in Frankfurt/Main, Germany (Getty Images)
European Central Bank's headquarters (ECB) is pictured in Frankfurt/Main, Germany (Getty Images)
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

It's been the scene for some of the most important meetings in the history of the financial crisis, and witnessed the decision to liquidate the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Now though the long time home of the European Central Bank has been sold.

RFR Holding, the investment firm that owns New York's Seagram Building, is selling the Eurotower in Frankfurt for €480m.

The Eurotower (left) is being bought by IVG Immobilien's institutional funds unit on behalf of a German pension fund, IVG said in a statement. The ECB will house its banking regulators in the entire 60,000 square metres (646,000 square feet) of the 40-storey building, according to the statement.

IVG, once Germany's biggest real estate company, was acquired by its creditors last year following a €3.2bn debt restructuring. The company sold its private funds business in an effort to improve its profitability, and continues to manage institutional funds for pension funds and insurers.

New York-based RFR was founded by German-born investors Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs. The company has $10bn of real estate, including the Westendgate in Frankfurt, the Alsterarkaden in Hamburg, and the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York.

The Eurocentre was the long time seat of the ECB but it formally moved to another Frankfurt tower earlier this year.

Still, the ECB has retained most of the space in the Eurocentre for the foreseeable future.

The building has been a staple of news reports since the start of the euro debt crsis, with the distinctive "euro symbol" at the front of the propoerty being the back drop for many a television report.

It was the setting for where the ECB was informed of the Irish government's decision to accelerate the liquidation of the former Anglo Irish Bank and Irish nationwide in 2013, along with many other landmark decisions.

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