CBRE GI buys German mall for Shopping Centre Fund

CBRE Global Investors has agreed to buy the largest asset in the liquidating European property trust formerly managed by Matrix.

Schroders, which took over as investment manager of the European Real Estate Investment Trust (EREIT) last year, has agreed to sell Düren shopping centre near Cologne for about €60m.

Düren is one of nine properties in EREIT that form the collateral for a €140.8m loan (as at June 2013) from Lloyds Banking Group, which matures on 5 January 2014.

This loan is one of the largest the bank has included in the €1.5bn ‘Project Hampton’ commercial property loan portfolio, which it is in the process of selling.

The Düren asset is the fifth acquisition for CBRE GI’s closed-ended European Shopping Centre Fund, which buys assets for income and value-added style returns. Its acquisition means the fund is around 70% invested after raising €400m of equity.

Florencio Beccar, manager of the European Shopping Centre Fund, said CBRE GI expected to begin fund raising for a follow-on vehicle next year. CBRE GI is also likely to start fund raising in 2014 for a core open-ended shopping centre fund.

“Our strategy is to have both a closed-ended, more value- added fund series, with a very specific investment story about when to buy and sell, alongside a big, open-ended, core fund that would own trophy schemes and behave more like a listed company,” he said.

The European Shopping Centre Fund’s other four assets are schemes in Tyresö in Sweden; Boissenart south of Paris; Galleries St Lambert in Liege; and a second German property, the Leine Centre in Hannover.

CBRE’s fund bought the 28,161m2 Leine Centre, developed in 1973 and extended in 2011, for €117m last March in a 50:50 joint venture with US pension plan Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

This fund has another joint venture deal in the pipeline with the Texas pension fund. Leine Centre was sold by LaSalle Euro Growth and its development partners.