Aberdeen Standard Investments acquires central Oslo office and retail asset from MARK

Aberdeen Standard Norway Balanced Property Fund AS has acquired Akersgata 16 in Oslo city centre from Promenaden High Street AS, a platform company of pan-European private equity real estate investment manager MARK (formerly known as Meyer Bergman), for an undisclosed sum.

As part of Promenaden’s active asset management strategy, the 4,829 sq m property, which is let to a mix of office and retail tenants, had undergone significant upgrades to modernise the building and seen significant leasing activity.

 
Current occupiers include coffee shop chain Kaffebrenneriet and furniture store Vitra Scandinavia on the ground floor, and energy and fiberoptic infrastructure supplier HCA Melbye AS, which recently moved into the top floor space. There are 12 tenants in total.
 
Akersgata 16 sits on one of Norway’s most important streets, with Akersgata being home to the Norwegian parliament and the Regjeringskvartalet complex, which hosts several government departments.
 
The property is also located next to the newly renovated Wessels Plass public square, one of Oslo’s main attractions and a key driver footfall to the area.
 
"We look forward to taking over a very attractive property in the heart of Oslo, located just by the parliament," says says Lise Berge Brattvåg, Fund Manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments. "With the upgrade of Wessels Plass and Prinsens gate, as well as the interior upgrades, this is a property that will be in demand by both retail and office users for many years. An important strategy for the fund has been to invest in centrally located, high quality  properties, and we believe this will be a good contribution to a rapidly growing portfolio."

"The property has undergone significant upgrades and re-letting in recent year and in combination with the central location, Akersgata 16 is well positioned to meet future demands," says Jens-Petter Guthus, Head of Transactions, Nordic Region at Aberdeen Standard Investments. :We have several funds and mandates that plan to increase their exposure in Oslo, and will thus be active on the buyer side going forward."
 
Aberdeen Standard Norway Balanced Property Fund AS is a moderately geared real estate fund with capital from, among others, foundations, associations, family offices and high net worth clients. The fund currently has a portfolio consisting of nine properties valued at approximately NOK1.5 billion.
 
Promenaden is one of several platforms launched by MARK to focus on specific opportunities within target sectors or geographies. Established in 2016, the company manages an €850m portfolio of prime retail and commercial properties in central Oslo, including the historic Steen og Strøm department store.
 
The c60,000 sq m of floorspace managed by Promenaden is evenly balanced between retail and offices, and Promenaden has introduced a number of leading luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, YSL, Moncler and Balenciaga as occupiers.

"The disposal of Akersgata 16 marks a continuation of our strategy of consolidating the Promanaden portfolio through the sale of non-strategic assets, and underlines investor appetite for high quality properties that have benefited from proactive asset management," says Mark Gamble, senior managing director and head of asset management at MARK. "Prior to this transaction we had undertaken significant refurbishment works to enhance the building’s value, which in turn supported our leasing strategy."

"The Promenaden portfolio is underpinned by strong transport connectivity as well as high footfall and spending power, through which we have managed to cultivate one of Europe’s most premium retail destinations that has also proven attractive to commercial occupiers who want to be centrally located," says Marcus Meijer, CEO at MARK. "Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, luxury and high end retail have demonstrated considerable resilience and are well placed as we look ahead to the recovery period."
 
Akershus Eiendom was the broker in the transaction.