Brussels Finance Tower sold for €1.2 billion

Brussels Finance Tower sold for €1.2 billion,Europe’s largest real estate deal of 2020
Photo: Courtesy of Breevast

Dutch real estate developer Breevast and investor ZBG Group of Companies (ZBG) have sold the landmark Brussels Finance Tower to listed South Korean financial services and investment group Meritz Securities and its London-based asset and investment manager Valesco Group for more than €1.2 billion, the largest single asset deal ever completed in Belgium.

The transaction was completed on 17 January and represents Europe’s largest real estate deal of 2020, said in a statement.

”The sale of the Finance Tower is a significant achievement, representing a commitment by Breevast and ZBG of almost two decades to realizing a high quality and sustainable asset in the heart of Brussels combining both office and residential space. This successful transaction reflects the growing international interest in large-scale urban revitalization projects in which we specialize. We have a full pipeline of residential, commercial and office projects which aim to address the growing demand for high quality urban real estate,” said Henk Brouwer, CEO of Breevast and member of the Management Board of ZBG.

”We are pleased to hand over this high quality asset to its new owners. This project, together with the adjacent RAC Belair sites, was a long-term commitment to the future of Brussels. The complete developmentrepresents one of the largest combined office and residential developments in Europe and we are proud to have played a role in realizing it. ZBG will continue to build its portfolio by investing in high quality real estate & development as part of our broader investment activities,” said Alexander Villaverde, member of the Management Board of ZBG.

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The Finance Tower (including the adjacent Door Building) represents approximately 200.000 m2 of high quality office space opposite the Jardin Botanique in the so-called Freedom Quarter in Brussels. The sale of this asset represents the final chapter in the urban development, redevelopment and revitalization scheme of this area owned and executed by Breevast and ZBG. The project consisted of the Finance Tower and the urban (re)development of more than 150.000 m2 of office, residential and retail space in the RAC Belair sites (sold between 2014 and 2017). In total, more than 350.000 m2 has been redeveloped and newly developed.

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In December 2001, Breevast and ZBG acquired the Finance Tower for EUR 311 million after winning a public tender organized by the Belgian federal government. This sale and leaseback transaction included a full renovation and redevelopment including an extensive asbestos removal scheme of Belgium’s largest stand-alone office property covering all 36-stories.

Breevast and ZBG were advised by real estate consultancy CBRE and legal and tax firms Loyens & Loeff, Stibbe, and PwC Legal.