Foreign investors widening their search for prime properties helped push the 2011 transaction volume for Central and Eastern Europe to more than EUR 11 bn - double that of the previous year, according to CRBE. PropertyEU's analysis of EUR 20 mln-plus deals during the fourth quarter tracked more than EUR 1 bn of activity by cross-border investors in the region.
The deal in Poland, for instance, involved Qatar's sovereign wealth fund QAI buying the new Warsaw headquarters for telecoms group Telekomunikacja Polska from developer Bouygues for EUR 90 mln.
US investment manager Heitman's HEPP EUR 505 mln European fund, HEPP IV, carried out three transactions in the CEE region during December. The fund invested an estimated EUR 170 mln in a joint venture with developer Trigranit to own the Millenium office portfolio in Budapest. Days later Heitman's fund H purchased two Class A office buildings in Budapest from London-based Aviva Investors.
On 29 December, Heitman announced the acquisition for the fund of Aupark Tower, a 32,500 m2 office property in Bratislava, Slovakia.
France saw investment in the fourth quarter rise 65% compared to the previous three months. The largest deal recorded by PropertyEU Research was fund manager La Francaise acquiring 97 supermarkets from retail giant Carrefour for EUR 365 mln.
Spain was another market to attract large deals in the last months of 2011. Pontegadea, the property firm owned by Spain's richest man Amancio Ortega, acquired the Torre Picasso skyscraper in Madrid for EUR 400 mln. The second largest deal tracked by PropertyEU was Unibail-Rodamco, the largest listed property company in Europe, buying Splau shopping centre in Barcelona for 189 mln.
The deal analysis for the fourth quarter appears in the January-February edition of PropertyEU magazine. Click on the link below to subscribe