Our client held a promise to acquire and in order to optimize the transaction, we offered to sell this promise without buying the property, tax efficiency was very important.
The first step was to define the acquirer’s typical profile in order to reduce our searching field to the bare minimum. We proposed the owner an “off market” operation to avoid the Medias’ attention. We needed a cash buyer and benefitting from some large financial surface, because the bank environment was too damaged for an investor to depend on it. Therefore, we decided to focus on 4 Swiss pension funds buying 100% with their own capital. The difficulty lied in the location because, although the complex was ideally located, at an exit of the Bern-Geneva highway and on the Geneva Lake side, the complex was far from the urban areas and the premium addresses to which the market had turned, in search of security. The site had solid arguments, such as the high-end construction quality and a 100% occupation rate with AAA tenants having signed long-term lease of 10 years.
After several months of intense negotiation with the Swisscanto pension fund, the sales agreement was signed in the first quarter of 2009 for an amount of 180 million CHF, being 5.15 % NET. This transaction will be one of the most important ones in Switzerland in 2009.