Cromwell EREIT to sell 12 assets in Europe to Blackstone for $73.2m

A logo of the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) is pictured outside its premises in the financial district of Singapore April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files

SGX-listed Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust (CEREIT) has entered into an agreement to sell its 12 properties located in the Netherlands, Denmark and France, to funds advised by Blackstone Group.

The 65.7 million euro ($73.2 million) disposal, Cromwell EREIT Management said, represented a 15.2 per cent premium to the original purchase price and a 4.1 per cent premium to the latest market value of the portfolio.

The divestments, which include five light industrial assets each in the Netherlands and France and two others in Denmark, follow the REIT manager’s recent 19 million euro sale of Parc D’Osny in France.

The manager said it expected capital gains from the sale to be in excess of 5 million euros, which will increase the REIT’s net asset value (NAV).

The disposal “is consistent with our articulated strategy to recycle capital from asset sales where we see good opportunity to do so,” said Simon Garing, CEO of Cromwell EREIT Management.

The proceeds from the sale will provide capital for accretive redeployment into more core assets to enhance CEREIT’s distribution per unit and NAV per unit, and improve the overall risk-return profile of CEREIT’s portfolio.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of February 2020.

CEREIT comprises a portfolio of 103 properties with a focus on the office and light industrial/logistics sectors. A unit under Australian Securities Exchange-listed Cromwell Property Group, it is also the first REIT with a diversified pan-European portfolio to be listed in Singapore.

Cromwell Property Group was earlier said to buy the 400 George Street building in Brisbane from Blackstone and German financial company HSBC Trinkaus for A$524.8 million. Meanwhile, it has also reportedly pulled out of a A$250 million ($360.4 million) deal to acquire Rundle Place from Blackstone.

In 2015, Cromwell acquired Valad Europe, a pan-European property funds manager with approximately 5.3 billion euros of assets under management, from Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI.

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.