Amundi Real Estate makes first UK investment

Amundi Real Estate has acquired a stake in 5 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, representing the first acquisition in Europe for Amundi‘s retail real estate collective investment scheme (OPCI).

The building is in the centre of Canary Wharf, London’s business and shopping district, and is managed by EvansRandall, the London based investment banking and private equity group specialising in prime commercial real estate investment Europe.

The property’s current lease is due to expire in 2027. It is spread over 15 floors and has a total surface area of 50,000 square metres, including 92 parking lots.

The building was designed by Marshall Strabala, an associate partner in charge of design at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Nicolas Simon, chief executive of Amundi Real Estate, said the acquisition reflects Amundi’s intention to “invest in “neighbouring” markets with high potential and reinforces our policy of geographic diversification in our retail OPCI”.

The acquisition supports research recently published by real estate advisor Savills, suggesting foreign investment in London real estate will be a significant trend this year. Savills explained non-domestic investors accounted for 64% and 60% of total turnover in the City and West End markets in 2011.

“While turbulence continues in the wider global economy regarding commodity prices, equity markets and political uncertainty, these levels of overseas interest will be sustained,” it said.

Amundi Real Estate was formed from the merger of the real-estate investment management operations of Crédit Agricole (Crédit Agricole Asset Management Real Estate) and Société Générale (Société Générale Asset Management Real Estate Investment Managers). The new entity has €6.7bn under management.

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