(LONDON) – Hines, the international real estate firm, has acquired a major new asset on behalf of the Hines European Core Fund (HECF), while announcing Simone Pozzato as HECF’s Fund Manager.
The Friesen Quartier is a 25,173-square-metre mixed-use development featuring six properties in the heart of Cologne, Germany, which has been acquired from the joint venture between PROXIMUS Real Estate AG and Quantum Immobilien, for an undisclosed price. The Friesen Quartier provides 12,000 square meters of office space, 7,000 square meters of residential and 2,000 square meters of leisure and retail that will include 460 underground car parking spaces, two day care centers and outdoor areas.
This deal is the latest in a string of significant acquisitions for HECF with €1.1 billion committed in the last 15 months alone, including the 30,000-square-metre portfolio of eight prime sites in France to develop a series of Build-to-Rent (BTR) residential schemes, and the acquisition of the 60,750-square-metre urban logistics facility, Ventrupparken 3-5, in Copenhagen.
These acquisitions form part of HECF’s ongoing long-term strategy to increase exposure to residential, large-scale mixed-use and logistics assets in key European locations with strong long-term growth prospects. Following Peter Epping’s appointment as the firm’s new Global Head of ESG,
Simone Pozzato, Managing Director at Hines in Europe, will continue to build on this strategy as HECF’s Fund Manager, with four years as Deputy Fund Manager that have seen HECF’s AUM triple in size since September 2017.
Simone Pozzato, Managing Director and HECF Fund Manager, at Hines, said: “This is an exciting time for the Fund as we continue to evolve and reshape the balance of assets, while broadening our investor base, particularly from the United States and Asian markets. We see a great opportunity for diversified real estate funds that are able to take advantage of opportunities in different countries and sectors. As such, we have a very strong pipeline of deals in progress with many in exclusivity and we remain committed to the ESG industry benchmarks we have set while delivering best-in-class returns. Our aim is to maintain, and build on, these standards which investors are now, rightly, demanding.”
The HECF is acknowledged throughout the industry as one of the best performing core property funds in Europe, and a leader in ESG best practice. The Fund has been named sector leader in its European diversified office/retail/non-listed core category in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) for a fourth year in a row. In addition, HECF won the 2021 PREA Real Estate Investment Management ESG award in the Open-End Fund category. Its achievements include a 100% sustainability certificate coverage across the portfolio, a 15.7% reduction in energy use and a 23.8% greenhouse gas reduction since 2016, for like-for-like assets. HECF has also transferred 90% of its buildings, where it has landlord control, to 100% renewable energy sources.
Alexander Knapp, Chief Investment Officer – Europe, at Hines, added: “We have strong ambitions for our European Core Fund, and we foresee that diversified vehicles will benefit the most during the recovery which is now in sight. During COVID-19, the team took advantage of the opportunities triggered by the pandemic by completing a record number of transactions during the last 15 months, mainly off-market.
“Having committed more than €1.1 billion of new acquisitions in 2020 and 2021 demonstrates the strength of our local platform which constantly sources new investment ideas for our flagship vehicles. We are confident that Simone will continue to lead the expansion of the Fund with a dynamic and thoughtful investment approach which has shaped the success of HECF to date.”
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 240 cities in 27 countries. Hines oversees a portfolio of assets under management valued at approximately $160.9 billion¹, including $81.7 billion in assets under management for which Hines serves as investment manager, and $79.2 billion representing more than 172.9 million square feet of assets for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired approximately 1,450 properties, totaling over 485 million square feet. The firm has more than 180 developments currently underway around the world. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to ESG, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world.
Since entering Europe in 1991, Hines has grown its European platform to include offices in 16 cities as well as a presence in 62 cities in 13 countries. Hines oversees a portfolio of assets under management valued at approximately €26.3 billion of assets under management in Europe, including €21.9 billion for which Hines serves as an investment manager and €4.4 billion representing more than 3.8 million square meters of assets for which Hines provides third-party property-level services, in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Visit www.hines.com for more information.
¹AUM includes both the global Hines organization as well as RIA AUM as of December 31, 2020.
About Hines European Core Fund (HECF)
The HECF was set up in 2006 with the aim of providing investors with a resilient income profile derived from a diversified portfolio of high-quality assets located in inner-city locations across major European cities.
As of Q1 2021 the HECF portfolio was 98.1% occupied with an aggregate fund value of c.€2.1bn. The portfolio of the Fund comprises 33 assets including forward commitments, invested in 16 city markets across nine different European countries.