Chinese sovereign fund completes €1.3bn investment in France and Belgium

A subsidiary of China Investment Corporation (CIC), a Chinese sovereign fund, and affiliates of property manager AEW Europe have completed the acquisition of ten shopping malls from CBRE Global Investors including eight in France and two in Belgium for some €1.3bn.

The portfolio was sold on behalf of its CBRE Retail Property Fund France Belgium CV (RPFFB).

A consortium composed of French real estate company Unibail-Rodamco and Dutch property manager Wereldhave was also interested in acquiring the portfolio.

“The portfolio which attracted significant interest, was marketed as of January this year with the objective to maximize value and create liquidity for the fund’s limited partners ahead of the fund’s termination date later this year.

“With this sale the full wind down of the closed end fund that was launched in 2003 has been completed,” explained CBRE Global Investors in a statement.

Sophie van Oosterom, chief investment officer EMEA, CBRE Global Investors said: “This transaction is a great achievement for our platform and clearly demonstrates our strong capabilities of executing on a focused investment strategy and creating value for our clients.”

Marc Reijnen, fund manager of the RPFFB, CBRE Global Investors added: “The fund has delivered an exceptional performance for the limited partners. Active asset management and asset rotation has resulted in a total return well in excess of the target IRR of 9.5% to our clients over the 12 year lifetime of the fund. In total the fund acquired and sold 26 retail assets, of which many were refurbished or extended to create additional value.”

This transaction comes after a recent wave of huge Chinese commercial property investments in France.

China Investment Corporation’s AUM amounted to over $740bn (€670.6bn) at the end of 2014.


Adrien Paredes-Vanheule
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule is deputy editor and French-Speaking Europe Correspondent for InvestmentEurope, covering France, Belgium, Geneva and Monaco. Prior to joining InvestmentEurope, he spent almost five years writing for various publications in Monaco, primarily as a criminal and financial court reporter. Before that, he worked for newspapers and radio stations in France, in particular in Lyon.

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