South Korea’s Samsung Securities Co. is set to become the new owner of Crystal Park building in Paris, France, worth 920 billion won ($778.3 million).
According to multiple sources from the financial investment industry on Friday, Samsung Securities has recently decided to acquire Crystal Park office building from French property investment firm Icade for 920 billion won. The Korean brokerage is expected to sign a final agreement with Icade next month.
Samsung Securities will inject 378.8 billion won and the remaining by local asset managers and lending institutions. The company plans to structuralize assets of the Crystal Park building and create a fund before reselling them in Korea.
Crystal Park – located in Neuilly-sur-Seine in northwest Paris – is a complex with an office building with a floor area of 44,000 square meters, resting facilities, and green space. Current tenants include global accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The latest purchase would further expand the list of Samsung Securities’ overseas property assets. Last year, the brokerage bought a 40 percent stake ownership in Dunkirk liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in France for about 850 billion won. This year, it also bought Lumiere building in Paris for total 1.5 trillion won in a consortium with Hanwha Investment & Securities Co. and Samsung SRA Asset Management Co. The securities firm also invested 71.5 billion won in a solar power facility in France, 106.7 billion won in Cross London Trains (XLT) in the United Kingdom, and 135.7 billion won in Aoyama building in Japan.
Samsung Securities has become a voracious buyer of real estate assets overseas since the company launched an alternative investment division in July last year. The company recently added a strategic investment team under the division responsible for comprehensive infrastructure-related investments. It also runs a property finance, The alternative investment division accounted for 65 percent of net operating revenue of the securities firm’s investment banking business last year. The company has set target to supply 4.7 trillion won worth of alternative products in 2023, almost double from 2.4 trillion won last year.
Samsung Securities’ alternative investment business is expected to benefit from its strategic alliance with Edmond de Rothschild Group, a European investment bank that is the global leader in property, energy, and infrastructure investment sectors.
By Chung Seung-hwan and Lee Eun-joo
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