Less than a month after GIC picked up a trophy office tower in Paris, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund has teamed up with Caleus Capital Investors to acquire a landmark hotel in Berlin in an off-market transaction.
The joint venture between GIC and the Berlin-based investment firm purchased the five-star Hotel de Rome from a fund managed by Commerz Real, according to a joint announcement by Caleus and the real estate investment arm of Commerzbank.
While financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, the 145-key hotel is listed by Commerz Real’s Hausinvest fund as being valued at €125.9 million ($139 million).
The acquisition comes just over three weeks after GIC paid a reported €530 million for the 40-storey PB6 tower in Paris, and is the latest in a series of overseas property investments by Singaporean investors.
GIC declined to comment to enquiries from Mingtiandi regarding the acquisition.
Investing in a Prime Location
“We have utilised the ongoing high demand for properties in prime locations to attain a very good result for our investors,” said Commerz Real’s global head of transactions, Henning Koch.
Built in 1889 as the headquarters of Dresdner Bank, Hausinvest acquired the Hotel de Rome for a reported €79 million in 2007 from hotelier Rocco Forte after the property was converted into a hotel the year before.
Located at Behrenstrasse 37 in the city’s central district of Berlin-Mitte, the hotel overlooks the State Opera House on Bebelplatz and is a fifteen minute walk from the historic Brandenburg Gate, while Französische Straße U-Bahn station is 400 metres away.
Operated under the Rocco Forte brand, the hotel has 108 rooms and 37 suites across 18,300 square metres (196,980 square feet) with a ballroom and a swimming pool in what had once been the bank’s jewel vault.
A 38 square metre deluxe room overlooking Hedwig’s Cathedral is priced at €322 per night, while the rate for the 85 square metre historic banker suite housed in the former bank conference room is €2,300 per night.
The 200 square metre Royal Bebel 2 Bedroom Suite – the hotel’s most expensive — is priced at €18,000 for the night.
Singaporean Investors Turn to Berlin
The GIC JV’s Berlin buy comes amid a flurry of overseas acquisitions by Singapore investors over the past two weeks.
Just five days ago, a REIT sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings agreed to buy a half stake in one of the largest shopping malls in Australia for A$670 million ($461 million). SPH REIT is buying the 50 percent share in the 136,629 square metre (1.47 million square foot) Westfield Marion Shopping Centre in Adelaide from Lendlease Real Estate Investment.
Just two days prior to that deal, GIC announced that it had bought out its partner’s 50 percent share in the Azia Tower in Beijing.
The wealth fund paid RMB 3.03 billion ($433 million) to buy the stake in the office building from state-owned Beijing Capital Land, the builder which completed the 42-storey tower in partnership with the Singaporean fund early last year.
Earlier this month, GIC had teamed up with Australian property group Charter Hall to acquire a landmark office building 25 kilometres northwest of central Sydney.
The JV paid A$415 million ($287 million) for the Jessie Street Centre in Parramatta, with Charter Hall taking a ten percent interest in the venture, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Mingtiandi.