AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets has completed the acquisition of a prime retail property in Toulouse from a fund managed by Grosvenor Fund Management. The purchase was made through AXA REIM SGP, manager of AXA Selectiv‘ Immo.
The 800 sq m period retail unit is situated on the prestigious rue d’Alsace Lorraine. Its prime location was a key factor in the recent letting of the shop to international fashion brand Bershka, part of the Inditex Group. The store is now open, following a complete fit-out customised to the brand’s requirements.
As the fourth largest city in the country and the capital of France’s Midi-Pyrénées region, Toulouse is an important destination for retail investment. Many of the world’s top luxury and high street brands already have a presence in the city, attracted by the above-average wealth and disposable income of local consumers.
Antoine Aubry, Fund Manager of AXA Selectiv’ Immo, said, “This acquisition represents an excellent addition to our portfolio, providing us with exposure to the retail market of one of France’s most dynamic cities, Toulouse, whilst harnessing our French team’s local expertise, building on the momentum achieved by our wider network in a number of recent deals across Europe.
“In line with the Fund’s investment strategy, this is a truly qualitative asset on account of both its unrivaled location and the strong covenant of its premier tenant, Bershka. More broadly, we remain convinced of the ability of the retail sector to provide secure, long term income streams and continue to seek out and invest in such assets for the benefit of our clients.”
The acquisition is in line with the Fund’s core strategy to acquire qualitative income focused assets across the European market. Axa Investment Managers has recently made another retail acquisition with the purchase of a 35% stake in Ruhr Park shopping centre in Bochum, Germany in partnership with an AXA insurance company.
The retail component of the Fund’s portfolio is now sitting at 35%. Following this acquisition, AXA Selectiv’ Immo’s portfolio comprises 21 assets located in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK, for a total value of c. €640 million.
At the end of June 2015, AXA IM – Real Assets has 780 retail assets under management globally for a total value of €9.6 billion.