Hermes secures French sale and leaseback deal

Hermes Real Estate Investment Management has acquired a 75% interest in a diversified sale and leaseback portfolio of French wholesale stores from METRO Cash and Carry France.

The portfolio consists of 43 wholesale stores across France, representing approximately 50% of the French store network, Hermes said.

The investment vehicle gives HREIML control provisions over both the exit and the approval and execution of the business plan. Amundi Real Estate are the vehicle’s regulatory fund manager.

The investment reflects the firm’s equity commitment of low three-digit million £range.  The French subsidiary of METRO Cash & Carry leased back the wholesale stores under long-term lease agreements, Hermes has also revelead.

Chris Taylor, chief executive of Hermes Real Estate Investment Management said: “We are delighted to have secured this portfolio of well-located properties leased to one of Europe’s top retailers at a time in the cycle when few other investors are active, yet in a market where planning is restrictive and supply constrained. We believe the underlying property fundamentals from this portfolio will deliver attractive returns over the long run.”

Jürgen Schwarze, CFO of METRO PROPERTIES concluded: “After having done an identical transaction already in 2012, we are now happy for having gained Hermes as the main investor in our second French fund. Whilst through this real estate structure Hermes will indirectly participate in METRO Cash & Carry’s outstanding operational business, METRO will in turn benefit from Hermes being one of the most experienced experts in the retail real estate sector.”

JLL acted for HREIML, Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking acted as exclusive placement agent and debt financial advisor to METRO PROPERTIES. Amundi Real Estate, the Amundi subsidiary for real estate fund and asset management, is the regulatory fund manager.

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