Catella fund achieves highest sustainability rating with senior home purchase

Tim Harrup

The growing importance of sustainability for real estate professionals has been further underlined. By acquiring a a senior living property in Brussels of just under 9,000 m² at the end of last year, the Catella European Residential Fund II achieved the highest level of sustainability under the EU’s SFDR Article 9 certification.

The 50 million Euros transaction saw the property, called L’Ecrin Vert and located on the corner of the Rue Jacques Bassem and the Chaussée de Wavre in the Brussels suburb of Auderghem, move from Bassem Certificates SA, a real estate company managed by Belgian Bank Degroof Petercam, to Catella’s fund.

This six-storey property was converted into a serviced senior living complex during development (it was originally scheduled to be residential accommodation), with 8,938m² of living space including 1,369m² of terraces. It comprises 108 residential apartments, two retail units totalling 427m² of GLA and 52 underground parking spaces. The ground floor houses several facilities for the residents including a reception, a library and multimedia lounge, fitness and wellness facilities (a swimming pool, massage area and sauna, as well as a hairdressing salon, bar and a restaurant. This serviced senior living complex is operated by Domitys which is a leader in its sector in France and this marks their entry into the Belgium market.

Returning to the significance of the ‘green’ aspect of this transaction, Patrick Au Yeung, Fund Manager CER III, CRIM, comments: “Achieving the status of a true dark green residential impact fund is proving to be a high hurdle for the real estate investment industry to clear. CER III remains in pole position as the only pan-European vehicle of scale on the market with its assets under management reaching over €750m after this investment – it's second in Brussels. Europe’s structurally ageing populations are driving strong demand for the type of high-quality senior living property L’Ecrin Vert represents and the acquisition is well-aligned with the fund’s societal investment criteria. Ralph Willems, Senior Acquisition Manager, CIMB added: “The acquisition of L’Ecrin Vert demonstrates Belgium’s growing attractiveness as an emerging institutional residential investment market. At over €50 million, this acquisition is one of the largest single asset deals ever done in the Belgian residential sector. »

Clifford Chance advised Catella on legal matters, Deloitte on tax and structuring with Drees & Sommer conducted technical due diligence. Bassem Certificates was advised by CBRE and Stibbe.

CIMB is the local office that offers fund, acquisition and asset management for all Catella-managed funds with an allocation to the Benelux region. CIMB has a broad real estate portfolio with some 75% invested in residential property and the balance in commercial assets. It currently has about €1.5 billion in assets under management in the Benelux and is anticipating investing some €600 million per annum in these markets over the next few years. CIMB is a member of the Catella European residential network alliance.