AMSTERDAM – Nov. 24, 2017 – International law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP has guided investors in two of the largest real estate transactions of the year in the vibrant Dutch real estate market.
New Atrium Acquisition
Greenberg Traurig assisted a consortium of French and South Korean investors lead by funds managed by Amundi Real Estate in purchasing “The Atrium” office project located in the South Axis of Amsterdam. The transaction was notable in that it was the most prominent single asset acquisition in Dutch history. The complex transaction as well as the corporate and tax structuring and senior financing thereof were supported by more than 20 attorneys in the Amsterdam, London, and Seoul offices of Greenberg Traurig. "This particular transaction required a high level of complex cross-border corporate and tax structuring and we were able to effectively join up our expertise in these areas with our real estate practice. It was one of the most challenging transactions that we have had the privilege to work on in our careers," remarked Jan Kees Brandse and Peter Jansema, co-chairs of the Greenberg Traurig Real Estate Practice in Amsterdam.
Pedro Antonio Arias, Director Real and Alternative Assets from Amundi stated: “We have performed the most outstanding transaction on the Dutch market in 2017 with the acquisition of The Atrium. The collaboration with Korean institutional investors confirms the ability of Amundi Real Estate to structure and execute large scale and complex operations with renowned international stakeholders, at the heart of the major European urban centers." Amundi Real Estate is Amundi's expertise specializing in developing, structuring and managing property funds for private investors, private banks and their distributors, institutional investors, large companies and real estate professionals.
Didier Unglik, founder and chairman of L'Etoile Properties, said: “We are proud to have assisted the transaction as acquisition advisor and succeeded in supporting Amundi Real Estate together with Korean investors. Our offices in Amsterdam, Paris, and Seoul were deeply involved and we look forward to guiding future investments in the Dutch real estate market, which we view as very promising." L’Etoile Properties is an international property service provider established in Paris in 1990. It serves as a long-term partner for international investors, accompanying them through the entire investment cycle of a property.
Merin Portfolio Acquisition
Greenberg Traurig also acted for Toronto-based Dream Global REIT (Dream) in connection with the investment in one of the largest commercial real estate platforms (known as “Merin”) in the Netherlands. The total purchase price for the transaction was reportedly in excess of EUR 620 million. The portfolio is comprised of 135 office and light industrial properties primarily located in Randstad and the five largest Netherlands industrial hubs. This marked Dream's first investment in the Netherlands, expanding Dream's geographic presence in Europe after having made significant investments in Germany, Austria, and Belgium since entering the European market in 2011. The transaction was supported by more than 15 Greenberg Traurig attorneys in the Amsterdam, Berlin, and Delaware offices.
"Our team was able to seamlessly support the acquisition, combining our resources in Amsterdam and Berlin; while our longstanding working experience with Dream helped us run this landmark transaction smoothly," noted Christian Schede, managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig Germany.
The Dynamic Dutch Real Estate Market
“The Dutch real estate market has been one of the most active in Europe on a per capita basis,” said Eric Rosedale, head of international real estate practice development at Greenberg Traurig. “The Netherlands is a country perceived by cross-border investors as a stable political and economic destination for their capital with exceptional infrastructure, financial services, quality of life, and proximity to other major European capital cities. To some extent, it also benefits from the migration of companies from the UK ahead of Brexit."
Dutch real estate investment activity for the first three quarters of this year is up 5.6 percent over last year. The office sector has seen the largest share of that investment (48.1 percent) with industrial and retail being the next two most popular investment sectors. Overseas investors continue to increase their exposure to Dutch real estate and it is estimated that cross-border investment into the Netherlands will comprise about 65 percent of the total investment volume.
The New Atrium transaction also highlights the growing role of South Korean investors in European property. In the past few years, South Korean capital has flowed into the UK, Dutch, French, Belgian, and German markets.
The Amsterdam office of Greenberg Traurig was established in 2003 as Greenberg Traurig's first office in Europe. The real estate team consists of more than 20 specialists in property, tax, finance, and M&A, representing many of The Netherlands’ top international real estate investors.
The Real Estate Practice at Greenberg Traurig now fields nearly 180 real estate specialists outside of the U.S. covering Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Greenberg Traurig's U.S. Real Estate Practice is widely acknowledged as a market leader and was most recently awarded the Chambers USA “Award of Excellence” in 2017 for the third time. Globally, the team is comprised of nearly 400 attorneys serving clients from more than two dozen markets around the globe.
About Greenberg Traurig: Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GTLaw) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. One firm worldwide, GTLaw has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and among the Top 20 on the 2016 Am Law Global 100. Web: www.gtlaw.com Twitter: @GT_Law.