Cordea Savills buys German rival to expand property there to €1bn

International property fund manager Cordea Savills has bought German rival International Property Asset Management, to bring the group’s assets under management in Germany to about €1bn.

The expansion in central Europe comes as banks holding property outside central Europe continue to take massive write-downs on these holdings.

IPAM began in 2006, and focuses mainly on retail and office property for institutional clients and family offices.

Its three principals – Thomas Lutz, Axel Froese and Bruce Jenyon – will still work with their existing clients. They will also become part of Cordea Savills’ management team in Germany.

Cordea Savills is also active in France, the UK, Italy and the Nordics.

In Germany it now has offices in Munich, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Hamburg, employing 35 people in total.

Chief executive officer Justin O’Connor (pictured) said the various regions in Germany can have such different markets to one another, that it is important to have people in each main region.

“This acquisition transforms Cordea Savills’ proposition for clients investing in Germany. It delivers a substantial increase in assets under management, an expanded regional office network, increased resources and expertise, and a broader service offering,” he said.

O’Connor added consolidation through M&A among property managers was inevitable – partly for economies of scale, and partly because end-investors did not want to deal with so many managers in their large portfolios.

Germany is widely regarded as having some of the most resilient real estate assets in Europe.

Managers believe many of Europe’s peripheral markets might become even weaker as austerity bites and business and living conditions deteriorate this year.

Such scepticism seemed to be justified yesterday as Spanish bank Santander took a €1.8bn charge on its Spanish property holdings, helping to cut its fourth quarter year-on-year net profit by 98%, to €47m.

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