South Korea investment brokerage Mirae Asset Daewoo, together with French asset manager Amundi Real Estate has completed its acquisition of the Jean-Paul Viguier-designed Majunga Tower in Paris, according to a joint announcement by the two parties earlier today.
The South Korean institution and its local partner had agreed in March to pay KRW 1.08 trillion ($925 million) for the 45-storey tower, according to property agents based in Seoul, making the deal the second-largest cross-border trade of a single real estate asset globally this year.
The trophy acquisition, which is the South Korean financial services firm’s first ever in Europe, comes as South Korean investors turn to France as an investment destination, as Brexit increasingly clouds the UK’s economic future.
Mirae and Amundi Pick Asymmetrical Paris Tower
“We have naturally chosen Paris La Défense, the largest business district in Europe, and Majunga Tower, a new landmark building with high standards,” Sangwook Nam, general manager of Mirae Asset Daewoo said in a statement. Nam indicated that the South Korean firm had chosen the Paris landmark after reviewing several other options in the French capital.
At 195 metres, the Majunga Tower, or the Tour Majunga in French, is the city of light’s third tallest tower, lagging behind the 130 year-old Eiffel Tower by 105 metres.
The 67,036 square metre building (721,569 square feet by gross floor area) on the south esplanade of La Defense has been certified as Excellent under the BREEAM system for sustainable buildings and is fully let to Deloitte and AXA Investment Managers.
“We are delighted to work with Mirae Asset Daewoo to support them in their first acquisition in Europe,” said Jean-Marc Coly, managing director of Amundi Real Estate. “This transaction is emblematic: it matches perfectly our criteria for selecting top-quality assets, in line with the most demanding standards in sustainable development.”
The asymmetrical tower, which is made up of three interlocked sections, has sky gardens with galleries and balconies on each floor that thermally regulate the structure.
South Korean Investors Add Some Je Ne Sais Quoi to Portfolio
South Korean investors are continuing to raise their cross-border real estate investment profile in France with three major transactions this year.
In late April, Hana Financial spent €400 million ($447 million) to acquire the 41,000-square-meter Tour CBX office building in La Defense from Tishman Speyer, with that deal following just one month after the Korean investor had teamed with Seoul-based REIT manager JR AMC to the Le Cristalia office tower from the US developer for KRW 220 billion ($194 million).
Also within the past year, according to Colliers International, an unidentified Korean institution purchased the Tour Eqho in La Defense for KRW 953 billion ($820 million).
Mirae Ramps Up Overseas Deals
Mirae Asset Daewoo, which is South Korea’s largest securities company with assets under management of $231 billion, has been ramping up its overseas property investments in a number of markets during 2019.
In Hong Kong less than three months ago, the firm provided $243 million in mezzanine financing to support Goldin Financial’s purchase of a 40 percent stake in a development at the former Kai Tak airport from the company’s chairman.
In January, the company extended a loan amounting to one third of the total $1.13 billion senior debt financing raising for the revamp of the TSX Broadway project in New York’s Times New Square, providing $375 million towards the overall $2.5 billion renovation of the 46-storey complex.