Tuesday 17 July 2018

€1.1bn deal agreed for Sony Centre plaza in Berlin

The Sony Centre plaza on Berlin’s famed Potsdamer Platz
The Sony Centre plaza on Berlin’s famed Potsdamer Platz

Andrew Blackman, Andrea Tan and Klaus Wille

Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and Madison International Realty have agreed to buy the Sony Centre plaza, a building on one of Germany's most famous squares, for €1.1bn.

The property on Potsdamer Platz was acquired from South Korea's National Pension Service, according to a statement on Monday. NPS has owned the Sony Centre - which has about 112,000 square metres (1.21 million square feet) of space - since 2010. Tenants include Deutsche Bahn AG, Sanofi and Facebook Inc.

The acquisition is the first in Berlin by Oxford Properties Group, the real estate investment arm of OMERS, according to the statement.

Potsdamer Platz, now dominated by luxury hotels and office towers, was a bombed-out wasteland for 50 years after World War II, with the wall dividing east and west Berlin tearing through it.

After reunification, Daimler AG and Sony Corp. invested more than €1bn to build a complex of futuristic skyscrapers and cinemas around a roofed-in plaza that's now one of Berlin's most recognisable landmarks.

Germany's attractiveness as a location for international investors was further underpinned in recent days with Singapore-based warehouse owners, Global Logistic Properties Ltd (GLP), confirming its intention to pay $2.8bn for a combined 32 million square feet of space across Germany, the UK, France and the Netherlands.

GLP's acquisition of logistics property developer, Gazeley, from a fund affiliated with Brookfield Asset Management Inc is being financed by $1.6bn in equity and $1.2bn in debt.

The global logistics business has been buoyed by the rapid growth of e-commerce, especially in Asia. Companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. are driving a boom in demand for warehouse space. GLP said it is talking to potential investors about the European business

(Bloomberg)

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