Cofinimmo continues with office divestment

Tim Harrup

Real estate development, investment and management company Cofinimmo (which was Belgium’s first sicafi) is continuing with its strategy of divesting office buildings in particular, which no longer form part of its core portfolio. This portfolio has increasingly been turning towards the residential healthcare sector (care homes) in recent years. Cofinimmo has thus announced the divestment of three office buildings in Belgium for approximately 43 million Euros towards the end of 2022.

The first transaction relates to the disposal of the West-End Office Park in the Brussels periphery located at Noordkustlaan 16 in 1702 Grand-Bigard. The site consists of three buildings representing approximately 10,000 m² of office space. The site dates from 2009 and is 90% leased to various tenants.The second transaction relates to the disposal of the site located Avenue de Maire 19 in Tournai. It consists of approximately 3,500 m² of office space. The site dates from 1997 and was completely renovated in 2005. It is fully let to the Buildings Agency (Régie des Bâtiments) for the Federal Police. And the third transaction relates to the disposal of the company owning the office building located at Boulevard du Souverain 280, in the decentralised area of Brussels. This site offers a surface area of approximately 7,100 m². It dates from 1989, was completely renovated in 2005 and is 96% leased to various tenants. These divestments total approximately 43 million Euros.

Cofinimmo has also announced that it has already begun the divestment strategy for 2023 with the disposal of an office building. This transaction relates to the asset located at Mercuriusstraat 30 in Zaventem, on the Brussels periphery. The site has a surface area of approx. 6,100 m² and offers office space, warehouse space and parking spaces in addition to its primary use as an IT data centre. The building is 100% let. The sale price for this site amounts to approximately 6 million Euros, and is above the latest fair value (as at 30.09.2022) as determined by Cofinimmo’s real estate valuers. This divestment is also fully in line with Cofinimmo's ESG strategy, as it contributes to a significant reduction in the energy intensity of the group's portfolio.

Where the remainder of 2023 is concerned, Cofinimmo says that in accordance with its asset rotation strategy, it will continue the disposal of some buildings in order to consolidate its leadership in healthcare real estate, while maintaining its balance sheet in check. In this respect, and in the continuity of what has been done in 2022, approximately 200 million Euros of divestments are still planned in 2023. However, this financial envelope may be reviewed upwards if new opportunities arise, or downwards if certain projects are postponed, such as the disposal of the Park Hill site, which had been budgeted for in 2022 and is now planned for 2023.