Carlyle makes third German RE acquisition

The global private equity firm's European real estate fund has acquired a cinema and office building in central Hamburg.

Washington DC-headquartered The Carlyle Group has announced the acquisition of a nine-storey office and leisure building in Hamburg's central business district from the liquidator responsible for bankrupt cinema operator UFA Theater. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
The 12,000 square metre building, located at Gänsemarkt 45 near the State Opera house, consists of a 3,000 seat multiplex cinema complex, restaurant and office block. A source close to the deal said that for the foreseeable future UFA would continue to operate the cinema.

However, the source also suggested that the long-term plan would be to knock down the current building and rebuild it to provide office and retail space that made better use of the strength of the location.
This is the Carlyle Europe Real Estate Partners fund’s third deal in Germany, following the acquisition of an office and warehouse building near Hamburg in 2001 and a Düsseldorf office building in 2003.

The €430 million ($567 million) fund closed in December 2003, and targets mid-sized properties costing between €20 million and €100 million. The real estate team, which has been investing since 2001, has also acquired buildings in France, Italy and the UK.
The firm said in a statement that it planned to add further investments to its German portfolio this year. Carlyle managing director Dr Wulf Meinel said that the country was attractive 'both in terms of its yields and its mid term market outlook'.
In other German news, Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec has announced that it will invest more than $200 million in German airport manager Hochtief AirPort Capital, a subsidiary of construction services company Hochtief.
The fund will take a 40 percent stake in the company, with Hastings Fund Management of Australia and KfW IPEX-Bank of Germany holding 50 percent and 10 percent respectively. The transaction gives the Caisse an interest in airports in Athens, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Sydney.