AXA Real Estate Investment Managers ("AXA Real Estate"), the leading real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe(1), announces a record year of transaction activities in 2014, with €10.2 billion of deals, comprising €5.2 billion of equity transactions and €5 billion of debt transactions, completed worldwide on behalf of clients. Total assets under management have increased to €54 billion (2013: €47.7 billion).
With a 10% increase in transaction volumes in 2014, AXA Real Estate led some of the world's largest and most high-profile transactions in 2014. These transactions were often alongside, or completed on behalf of some of the most active and significant investors from Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East, through either funds, joint ventures, club deals or as separate accounts.
Having successfully completed €5.2 billion of equity transactions over the course of last year, AXA Real Estate made €2.9 billion of acquisitions and €2.3 billion of disposals globally, with highlights and breakdowns including:
- The UK saw a significant level of investment activity with over €1 billion transacted over the period, comprising €632 million of acquisitions and €412 million of disposals. Flagship deal included the purchase of a 50% stake in Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol, one of the UK's top twenty shopping centres, for £267.8 million (€371.2 million)(2).
- Having been a first mover back into Southern Europe in 2013, AXA Real Estate continued to demonstrate its confidence in the long term prospects of the region, investing €474 million into Italy and Spain over 2014. Equity investment in Italy overtook Spain for the first time following the acquisition of a 25-asset Italian retail and leisure portfolio, comprising some of Northern Italy's most significant shopping and entertainment centres, for c. €290 million, on behalf of an Italian regulated real estate fund.
- The Benelux region attracted €677 million investments with landmark deals including the purchase of the ‘North Galaxy' prime office building in Brussels for €475 million in a joint venture between AXA Belgium and ATP, Denmark's largest Pension Fund. Sales in the region totalled c.€175 million.
- Germany remained a key market for AXA Real Estate with a total of €523 million transacted. Acquisitions in this market totalled €225 million over the year, including the purchase of Park Kolonnaden, a mixed-use building in Berlin on behalf of a new joint venture created between two of AXA Real Estate's institutional clients, while disposals stood at €298 million during the period.
- In France, AXA Real Estate undertook €312 million of acquisitions and €401 million of disposals during 2014. Highlights include two acquisitions completed on behalf of AXA Selectiv' Immo(3) for a total consideration of c.€115 million, comprising the purchase of the Eurosud office building in Lille and a 50% interest inLe Diagonal asset in Châtillon, Paris, as part of a joint venture.
- Japan proved a compelling investment market with €317 million of assets acquired, including Nakano Central Park East, a 39,025 sqm (GFA) core office building which was led on behalf of AXA Life Insurance Co. Ltd in Japan, and was one of the largest single asset transactions in the country last year. Another landmark Tokyo acquisition was the Nishi Shinjuku KF Building, a 9,854 sqm high-quality office asset in central Tokyo, on behalf of the Tokyo Office Property Fund, which is now fully invested.
Debt investment remained at the forefront of AXA Real Estate's investment strategy, with €3.6 billion invested into commercial real estate debt, including a share in a multi-billion euro Spanish loan portfolio disposed of by a major European bank, and an additional €1.4 billion invested into infrastructure debt during 2014.
Pierre Vaquier, Chief Executive Officer of AXA Real Estate, commented: "2014 proved to be another strong year for AXA Real Estate as we continued to regularly deliver high levels of performance and value to our clients, making a series of landmark transactions within and outside of Europe. By utilising our strong network of local teams globally, we were able to source and acquire prime assets with strong value-add potential whilst simultaneously identifying opportunities to realise value for our investors."
"Our strong track record for successful co-investment was sustained, as we gained access to a number of exciting new opportunities and deals through a series of joint ventures and club deals involving world class investment partners. In 2015, we look forward to further fruitful collaborations and we will put our strong investment convictions in the service of our clients."
Source: AXA Real Estate