Frankfurt am Main, December 19 2016

Universal-Investment acquires Liffes Valley Shopping Centre on behalf of BVK

Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK), Germany’s largest pension scheme group, and Universal-Investment, as investment manager have completed the acquisition of Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and a 7 hectare adjacent parcel of development land.

Liffey Valley was formerly owned by a consortium comprising HSBC Alternative Investments Limited (HAIL), Grosvenor Britain & Ireland and Hines. Hines will continue to act as Asset and Development Managers for the Centre following the closing of the sale.

Liffey Valley is one of Ireland’s most successful and vibrant shopping and leisure destinations with over 100 shops, restaurants and multiplex cinema and 3,500 parking spaces. The co-owners, over the last three years, have delivered significant improvements to Liffey Valley including the development of the newly completed Western End extension to the centre which is now fully operational and includes a new anchor Penneys Store, six restaurants, a new external façade and a cinema upgrade. As a result of this new development, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre now comprises over 71,000 sq.m of retail and leisure space.

Source: Hines

In August 2016, planning permission was granted for an additional 22,000 sq. m. net retail space together with a mix of other uses. Plans include a transformation of the Centre’s civic spaces with the addition of a major new public space equivalent to a typical European-scale Urban Plaza. 
The acquisition was made for an institutional real estate fund on the platform of Universal-Investment, administered and managed on behalf of BVK.  HWBC acted as advisers to the purchasers and as the transaction managers and co-ordinators for all parties on the BVK and Universal Investment side. This is the latest of a number of acquisitions across Europe by Universal-Investment for BVK.

Brian Moran, Senior MD with Hines Ireland said “Hines, along with the new owners, is looking forward to continuing this work. Liffey Valley is a landmark asset which in recent years has offered considerable upside potential, thanks to an improving Irish commercial real estate sector, strong tenant demand and significant development opportunities. Hines is delighted to be involved in continuing growing Liffey Valley’s role as a leading employer and contributor to the local community and wider region for the long-term.”

David Yaldron, Director, Grosvenor Developments said “Grosvenor has had a twenty year association with Liffey Valley Shopping Centre having been involved since it was first developed and opened in the mid-1990s. We have enjoyed a strong performance from the asset throughout this time and are particularly proud of the developments our investment has delivered recently at the western end of the centre.  We look forward to seeing it continue to thrive under its new ownership.”

Paul Forshaw, Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Fund Management, HSBC Alternative Investments Limited said “Since acquisition in 2014, the asset management initiatives implemented by the ownership consortium have generated both significant enhancements to the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, and very strong performance for our investors.   Liffey Valley now plays an increasingly important role in the region and we expect it to continue to prosper under new management.”

HWBC Managing Director Tony Waters said: “Liffey Valley is one of Ireland's most attractive shopping centre assets and there was considerable international investor interest in this transaction. We believe the fundamentals of the Irish economy and the continuing recovery in Irish consumer confidence will sustain investor interest in 2017, following a busy 2016.”

Alexander Tannenbaum, Managing Director of Universal-Investment, adds “Retail properties and offices are the most favored real estate sectors in German institutional investors’ portfolios and provide good diversification and deliver steady returns.”

About Hines

Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 182 cities in 20 countries. Hines has $89.1 billion of assets under management, including $42.5 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services, and $46.6 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 109 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,126 properties, totaling over 351 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 457 properties, representing over 193 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world.
Visit www.hines.com for more information.

About Bayerische Versorgungskammer

Bayerische Versorgungskammer is the competence and service centre for occupational and communal pension schemes and Germany´s largest pension scheme group under public law. It is the joint executive body of twelve liberal professions´ and communal pension schemes. Bayerische Versorgungskammer covers about 2 million insured persons in total, with contributions of €4 billion and €2.9 billion pension payments annually. It currently has €62 billion assets under management and 1,200 employees.
Visit www.versorgungskammer.de for more information.

About HSBC Alternative Investments Limited

HSBC Alternative Investments Limited (HAIL) provides a broad range of hedge fund, private equity and real estate investment services to HSBC clients across the globe. It also acts as Investment Advisor to a number of real estate products managed by HSBC Management (Guernsey) Limited. Operating since 1989, HSBC’s alternative investment business today manages and advises on more than USD 16.8bn of client assets. HAIL is a limited company registered in England and Wales and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

About Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland creates and manages high-quality neighbourhoods across the UK and Ireland. The company’s diverse property development, management and investment portfolio
includes Grosvenor’s London estate, comprising 300 acres of Mayfair and Belgravia, in which it has a £1bn planned investment programme. Other developments include elsewhere in London and Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Southampton. As at 31 December 2015, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland had £5.7bn of assets under management.
Visit www.grosvenor.com for more information

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