Mark clinches off-market deal for former French newspaper HQ

European investment manager Mark has acquired the former headquarters of French national newspaper Liberation in an off-market transaction for its Paris Urban Regeneration Fund (MPUR).

The deal marks the first investment for the fund, which is dedicated exclusively to ESG-focused value-add opportunities in Paris. It was carried out with co-investment from Eternam, a subsidiary of Cyrus Group.

The price and vendor have not been disclosed. A green loan has been agreed with HBSC Continental Europe to finance the project.

Located in the Le Marais district of Paris, the mid-20th century building will be transformed into contemporary office space with strong sustainability credentials. Mark is aiming to obtain the Low-Carbon Building Renovation (BBCA) label during the redevelopment phase, and the highest environmental certifications available post-completion, including BREEAM Excellent.

The development will be extended from 5,000 m2 to 6,000 m2 and provide room for 650 employees. Fashion, technology and entertainment companies have been identified as potential occupiers.

Philippe Bidaud, managing director of Mark in France and board member, said: ‘This transaction represents an excellent illustration of our aspirations for MPUR and the attractive opportunities we will seize upon as the market undergoes significant change. Current pricing allows us to invest in ambitious restructuring projects, creating some of the capital’s most sustainable and future-proofed commercial spaces in a city highly sought-after from both an occupier and investor perspective.’

Launched in 2022, MPUR will target €750 mln in assets under management over the next three years. It seeks to restructure, extend and convert well-located but obsolete or underutilised buildings into prime commercial spaces with unrivalled ESG credentials.

The fund aims to be ISR labelled by October of this year - a benchmarking system introduced by the French government in 2016 which identifies investment funds clearly demonstrating social impact and sustainable development benefits.


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