Ares Splurges on Investments in Germany

Ares Management is a big spender these days, grabbing several assets in western Germany.

Bill Benjamin, Ares Management

Funds managed by Ares Management L.P. have acquired 303 residential and 28 commercial units, totaling 22,000 square meters (236,800 square feet) of leasable space in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of western Germany, Ares announced Friday. The seller was Norway-based Obligo Investment Management; terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The purchase is the first add-on acquisition for Ares’ existing German residential real estate portfolio, which consists of nearly 1,700 units totaling 108,807 square meters (1.17 million square feet) in several large cities in west and northwest Germany.

“Ares’ commitment to the German residential market is further bolstered by this transaction,” Bill Benjamin, senior partner of the Ares Real Estate Group & head of Europe and India Real Estate, said in a release. “We remained highly interested in this portion of the residential market in Germany due to the economic fundamentals that support continued strength in the rental market as well as the depth in the number of institutional investors for properties in this asset class.”

Ares intends to continue to work with Forte Capital, a Frankfurt-based real estate firm, “to add value and reposition the expanded portfolio.”

On Feb. 9, Ares announced that a fund in its Real Estate Group had acquired from IVG Institutional Funds a 45,000-square-meter (484,376-square-foot) office and retail portfolio of eight properties in five European countries: the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Poland and the Netherlands.

The portfolio was valued at more than €100 million ($1.1 million), and the transaction reportedly was one of the first multi-jurisdictional portfolio sales since the financial crisis more than six years earlier. That transaction, too, was undertaken in partnership with Forte Capital.