QATAR to buy stake in $2.56bn project in Italy

Artist's impression of the Porta Nuova project in Milan
Artist’s impression of the Porta Nuova project in Milan

Qatar Holding has announced that it will acquire a 40 percent stake in a $2.56bn mixed used real estate project in Milan, Italy. In a statement, Qatar Holding and Hines Italia SGR announced a strategic partnership for the Porta Nuova project, managed by Hines Italia SGR.

Porta Nuova represents one of the most prestigious city centre mixed use developments in Europe with a market value in excess of €2bn.

The project is transforming the city of Milan by creating a new central district. The central building of Porta Nuova Garibaldi, which is leased to Unicredit, is Italy’s tallest structure and a new beacon for the city.

Qatar Holding said it will acquire, through a subscription of newly issued units, an ownership interest of approximately 40 percent while the remaining 60 percent will continue to be owned by the current sponsors.

The Porta Nuova project is financed by Intesa San Paolo, Unicredit, Hypothekenbank Frankfurt, Banca Popolare di Milano and Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

Qatar Holding’s investment in Porta Nuova further diversifies its global portfolio in general, and increases its participation in the Italian real estate market in particular, the statement said.

Jeff Hines, Hines president and CEO, said: “Porta Nuova represents one of the most important developments for the firm and for our investors. Hines has invested in the future of Italy not only Porta Nuova, but also with the creation of a significant in-country investment management platform.”

Manfredi Catella, Hines Italia SGR CEO, added: “The partnership with Qatar Holding represents a strategic step for our investors and for Hines Italia SGR and confirms Porta Nuova as one of the most attractive investment in Italian real estate. Italy’s territory is one of the most important natural resources of the country that can support economic growth in the future.”

Other key investments of Qatar Holding, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority, include Agricultural Bank of China, Barclays plc, Canary Wharf Group (via Songbird Estates), Costa Smeralda resorts, Credit Suisse Group, Harrods Group, J Sainsbury plc, London Stock Exchange, Lagardere, Porsche, Qatar Exchange, Qatar Telecom, Qatar National Bank, Santander Brasil and Volkswagen.

Qatar Holding ‘eyeing Versace’

Qatar Holding and an Italian state-controlled investment fund are interested in investing in fashion house Versace, a Milan newspaper said yesterday. The Qatar sovereign fund is “carefully looking at” Versace, the paper, Il Sole 24 Ore, said, citing financial sources.

The paper cited market rumours as saying the fund was flanked by FSI, the Italian strategic investment fund owned by state financing company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

In November, Qatar Holding signed a joint venture agreement with FSI to invest in Italian companies in sectors including food, fashion and luxury.

Il Sole said that there were some 10 other expressions of interest for Versace besides that of Qatar and FSI. Earlier this month Qatar Holding agreed to buy a 40% stake in Milan’s real estate development project Porta Nuova for an undisclosed sum.

Source: Caye Global News, Arabian Business


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