Hana Financial Investment Co. Ltd. is likely to continue its buying spree for French office buildings by adding Tour CBX, worth around 400 million euros ($447 million), to the list of its recent acquisitions in France.
Hana is set to buy Tour CBX, a 41,000-square-meter prime office tower located in La Defense business district west of Paris, the Korea Economic Daily TV reported on April 26. A source with knowledge of the matter confirmed it.
Tishman Speyer is selling the property for approximately 400 million euros, or 1.5 times its purchase price of around 270 billion won.
The US real estate investment firm originally developed the grade A tower in 2005 and bought it back from Dexia, a Belgium-based banking group, in 2016.
Biogen Inc., a US biotechnology company, uses more than 80% of the office space.
For Tour CBX, Hana beat other South Korean competitors including Korea Investment & Securities Co. Ltd., the report added.
It will buy the property through Seoul-based Vestas Investment Management Co. Ltd.
Separately, South Korean institutional investors are expected to beat Chinese competitors to acquire Tour Eqho, a skyscraper in La Defens business district, worth 750 million euros ($839 million), the report said. It did not identify the potential buyer.
COMPETITION BETWEEN KOREAN BIDDERS
Hana, a brokerage arm of a leading South Korean banking group, is among the most aggressive Korean investors in France’s commercial real estate market, in pursuit of 7-9% returns.
But intense competition between Korean bidders has cut expected returns for French real estates to 5%.
In particular, within Hana Financial, internal competition for global alternative investments ended up with buying a number of real estate assets in the same district of France by different teams, according to market sources.
Since late last year, South Korean institutional investors have snapped up office towers in Paris and its suburban areas for over 2 trillion won ($1.7 billion) in total, including Hana’s 220-billion-won purchase of Le Cristalia from Tishman Speyer.
By Hyunil Lee
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>