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Meyer Bergman buys 26,000 sqm where Milanese do their high-street shopping

by Sara Monaci

The Meyer Bergman real estate fund has purchased 4 buildings for a surface area of 26,000 square meters in the area of Corso Buenos Aires, one of the main high-street shopping streets in Milan. The transaction follows similar acquisitions along the Champs Elyséès in Paris, in Piccadilly in London, in Grensen in Oslo, and in Købmagergade in Copenhagen.

The addresses are Corso Buenos Aires 59 and the side street Via Enrico Petrella at numbers 2, 4, and 6. The Mberg II (Meyer Bergman European Retail Partners II) closed capital-raising in the third quarter of last year and have acquired the properties from the Stardust and CarpathiaReal Estate companies, owned by institutional investors.

The goal is to create locations for a mixed residential-commercial use: the English fund purchases and develops high-street brand shops and apartments, guaranteeing an initial management phase; it then sells the investment in a later phase. Everything should happen in a short period of time, within the end of the year, given that, its seems, the contracts with the companies in the sector have already been formalized.

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the industry players, contacted by Il Sole 24 Ore, estimate the properties have an overall value of approximately €90 million. The improvements will obviously make that figure go up at year end.

For Meyer Bergman, the investment is especially interesting if one considers that Corso Buenos Aires is the main artery that runs north from the historic center of Milan. Today it is one of the busiest shopping streets in the city with the most popular fashion brands, including the stores of Zara, H&M, Mango, Nike, Bershka, Stradivarius, Terranova and OVS.

Meyer Bergman is a private international company specialized in investments in the real estate sector. It is the advisor of three closed-end funds dedicated to the real estate sector, which together add up to a total of €4 billion of assets on behalf of global institutional investors. The headquarters of the company is in London.

Paulo Sarmento, Principal at Meyer Bergman, says: “This investment fits perfectly with the fund's strategy of targeting high street properties in the main retail destinations of Europe's major cities. This is a tremendous redevelopment opportunity, since large retail units are in such short supply on this major shopping street. We are looking for a partner to whom we can sell the apartments on the upper floors that account for two-thirds of the available space.”

The transaction was handled for the vendors by the advisor Sansedoni Siena SpA (owned by Monte dei Paschi di Siena), which, as its new company mission, has the activity of real-estate servicing on the behalf of third parties.

“With this transaction,” comments Luisa Marri, the Deputy General Manager of Sansedoni, “important both for its scale and for the value-added activity that preceded it, we hope to start a new course for our company. The new five-year business plan includes a strengthening of the portfolio management of third parties, through the acquisition of new mandates for asset management.”