Cerberus: ‘European real estate a key focus’

New York-based Cerberus Capital Management says it sees opportunity in the region as it strikes its third significant Euro deal in the past five months.

Cerberus Capital Management, the New York-based investment firm, said this week that Europe was a key market as it struck its third significant property deal in the region.

The company revealed it had bought 45 cash and carry properties in Germany.

The firm said it has secured approximately €500 million in financing for the Metro properties from a consortium of lenders led by France’s Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking and Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen. The lending consortium also included ING, the Dutch bank, France’s NATIXIS, Germany’s pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and Spain’s Banco Santander.

Cerberus said it was one of the largest German property transactions since 2007, and that it was also its third significant deal in Europe in five months. In November 2010, it bought 97 bank branches of Spanish bank Caja Madrid and earlier this month, it acquired and restructured the senior debt of Maxim Business Park in Glasgow, Scotland.

Lee Millstein, senior managing director at Cerberus, said in a statement: “European real estate is a key focus for Cerberus.” He said the firm believed there were significant opportunities in the region.

Of this latest transaction, he added the portfolio was high-quality. “Metro is one of the world’s preeminent retailers, and German retail is an especially attractive sector within the European property markets,” he explained.

The ‘Metro Cash & Carry portfolio’ adds to the existing 100 German high street retail assets Cerberus currently owns. The portfolio includes 42 Metro Cash & Carry wholesale-retail properties and three other assets totalling 900,000 square meters of rentable space in urban centers throughout Germany.

The firm did not disclose for which fund it made the investment.