Doughty Hanson has sold the L’Oréal Italia headquarters to WestInvest Gesellschaft für Investmentfonds mbH (WestInvest), a German open-ended real estate fund in a €70m deal. This is the second exit since October from Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate, a 1999 vintage fund. The firm reports that following the L’Oréal deal investors will have received cumulative distributions of almost 70% of the cash invested.
In February 2001 Doughty Hanson acquired the derelict site, located on Via Primaticcio in Milan, through a court-administered liquidation auction. It then brought in BPD Property Development of Treviso as a minority partner, creating an Italian operating platform, Europa Risorse, to manage the redevelopment project. Construction of the 33,000 square metre office complex began in 2001 and was completed months ahead of schedule in mid-2003.
The project was initiated in co-operation with L’Oréal as part of Doughty Hanson’s Solutions for Corporates programme. This programme focuses on creating value for corporates by exploiting under-utilised company-owned property, or partnering with corporates to solve complex property or occupancy problems.
In October Doughty Hanson sold its Bodio Centre office development, also in Milan, to German fund Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Immobiliensfonds in a €200m transaction. Acquired from Alcatel in 2000, the investor redeveloped the site into a leading business centre.
Since 2000, Doughty Hanson Real Estate has completed 20 acquisitions in seven European countries and initiated over 600,000 square metres of office and residential developments across Europe, independently or in joint venture with local developers. The firm plans to raise its second real estate fund this year.