Oxford edges ahead in race for Berlin’s €1.1bn Sony Center

By James Buckley - Thursday, July 13, 2017 8:34

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Oxford Properties has emerged as the frontrunner to buy the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin for in excess of €1.1bn.

CoStar News, in collaboration with German sister title Thomas Daily, has learned that five bidders have been vying to buy the sprawling 130,000 sq m headquarters of Sony in Berlin, with Oxford now leading the pack.

The other bidders included Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed property developer Wheelock, US private equity giant Blackstone, Middle Eastern sovereign wealth giant Kuwait Investment Authority and RFR Holding GmbH, whose parent company RFR Group is headed by real estate investors Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs, both of which have German roots.

TD revealed in April that the South Korea National Pension Service (NPS), advised by Hines, had instructed Eastdil Secured and BNP Paribas Real Estate to sell the development for at least €1bn off the back of the boom in Berlin real estate values in recent years.

In 2010 NPS had paid around €572m for the complex which comprises a mix of residential, office, restaurant, and recreational space.

The Sony Center opened in 2000 and is almost fully let. The largest office tenants are Deutsche Bahn (in the high-rise), Sanofi-Aventis, Facebook, and the office space provider Wework.

Potsdamer Platz, now dominated by luxury hotels and office towers and forming part of a wider sales process separate to the Sony Center, was a bombed-out part of Berlin for 50 years after World War II, with the wall dividing east and west Berlin running through it. After reunification, Daimler AG and Sony Corp. invested more than €1bn to construct a complex of futuristic skyscrapers and cinemas around a roofed-in plaza that’s now one of Berlin’s most recognizable landmarks.

All parties declined to comment.

jbuckley@costar.co.uk & awachter@thomas-daily.de

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