Italian real estate fund Patrimonio Uno is to step up the offloading of its properties as part of a sell-off always scheduled into its business plan.
The fund was set up in 2005 to purchase 75 government properties. Since 2008 36 of the buildings have been sold by the fund to the tune of 200 million Euros said Marco Luoni, Patrimonio Uno fund manager at BNP Paribas REIM. BNP Paribas REIM has been managing the fund and has picked property services company CBRE to sell the next nine buildings.
"The fund closes in 2017 and the sale procedure is part of the business plan," said Paolo Bellacosa, CBRE's executive director of capital markets, who will launch the sale process despite dealing with what he calls "a difficult market that is in profound change."
The nine properties to be sold in the coming weeks are mostly occupied by government offices leased up until 2023 in major cities, and are expected to fetch 120 million Euros. The fund then plans to sell another batch of properties by the end of the year, Mr. Luoni said, though he cautioned: "We must take our time to find a buyer in the difficult Italian real-estate market. It might take a long time to find a private Italian buyer."
Patrimonio Uno is confident of achieving a solid sale on the buildings because of investor sentiment towards the stability of government-tied leases, but the quality of the assets and their locations, as well as troubles in the Italian property market and the European financial crisis, could make the sales problematic, industry experts said.
Jones Lang La Salle report that commercial real estate investment fell 50% in Italy in Q1, with transactions totalling 440 million Euros, some 240 million Euros was invested in office, with Rome and Milan attracting 50 million and 90 million respectively. However, across the other cities the majority of the investments were into buildings with government held leases said JLLS. This is a good sign for the Patrimonio Uno sale, as its buildings are located in the historic centres of Rome, Florence, Siena, Naples, Foggia, Mestre, Vicenza, Padua and Verona.
"We hope the combination of the long-term leases and public tenants will give us a good result in the sale," Mr. Luoni said.
- Friday 01 June 2012