CB Richard Ellis advises Evans Randall on the largest single asset transaction in Belgium

CB Richard Ellis has advised Evans Randall, the UK investment banking and private equity group, on the acquisition of a prime office development in Brussels known as Covent Garden for €265 million.

Located in the centre of Brussels, on the edge of the North area and the Rue Neuve, the building is one of the few landmark properties in Brussels and the deal represents the biggest single asset transaction in the city in 2007.

The 72,000 m² (770,000 ft²) development comprises two buildings linked by a central atrium. Building A, totalling 14,340 m² (154,000 ft²) of office space plus ancillary retail and storage, is pre-let to the European Commission on a 15-year occupational agreement. Building B, a 26-storey tower, is nearing completion and will provide 56,000 m² (603,000 ft²) of office space, plus retail and storage.

Maxime Xantippe, Managing Partner of CB Richard Ellis Belgium, commented: “As invested volumes in Brussels move towards a new record for 2007, this reference transaction has been successfully negotiated in an environment where some European real estate markets have experienced slowing due to the sub-prime crisis. Brussels, as the capital of Europe, is playing its role as an institutional and stable market where the perceived risk as part of these large transactions remains low.”

“This transaction stands as an example for international real estate advisors, in that an important funds allocation has been completed in one transaction here, making the operation efficient not only in relation to invested financial and human resources during the transaction, but also in terms of real estate management in the future.”

The acquisition was made through the purchase of 100 per cent of the share capital of Immobilière Royal Rogier SA, which developed the scheme. Immobilière Royal Rogier SA is a 50/50 joint venture between Covent Garden Real Estate SA – jointly owned by KBC Bank and Developer Buelens – and Seti SA, the Swiss private bank.

CB Richard Ellis is the retained agent by Evans Randall.