DIFA-Global has bought an office building in Chile becoming the first German open ended fund to invest in South America.
It has bought the Birmann 24 office building in the capital Santiago for €48m (£31m). The 258,335 sq ft (24,000 sq m) building is located in Las Condes – the city centre’s biggest office submarket - and is fully let to tenants including Microsoft, JP Morgan, UBS, Merrill Lynch, Hewlett Packard and Linux.
DIFA said the 23.7m sq ft (2.2m sq m) Chilean property market was similar in size to that of Luxembourg and was dominated by domestic insurance companies and REITS. Reinhard Kutscher, member of the management board, said: ‘Chile's financial and legal systems conform to European standards, the economy is experiencing positive growth and the political situation is stable.’
Its entry into Chile follows its deals in Mexico in 2005 where it bought a 30% stake in Paul Reichmann’s Torre Major office tower in Mexico City for US$102m (£54.5m). It also paid US$21.9m (£12.31m) for the Tamayo 100 building in Monterrey.
DIFA has also announced it is changing its name and from April this year will be operating under the name Union Investment Real Estate to better reflect ‘DIFA's strategic evolution into an international property investment management company’.