Axa Buying France’s Tallest Building, Tour First

By | January 22, 2016

Axa Investment Managers Real Assets, the property unit of the French insurer, agreed to buy France’s tallest skyscraper from affiliates of Beacon Capital Partners.

Axa is buying Tour First on behalf of a group of investors, the asset manager said in a statement on Friday, without disclosing terms. The 231-meter high tower, located in the La Defense area, has more than 80,000 square meters (863,500 square feet) of office space.

Investors are buying office towers in La Defense, Paris’s biggest business district as rental yields are higher than in cities like London. Yields, which fall as prices rise, for the best offices in La Defense were about 4.75 percent at the end of September, compared with 3.5 percent in central Paris and about 3 percent in London, according to data compiled by broker Cushman & Wakefield.

Tour First was built in 1974, one of the first generation of towers erected as part of a government initiative to create a new business district, according to the statement. Beacon acquired a 50 percent stake in 2007 and then bought the rest of the building once 300 million euros ($325 million) renovations were complete in 2011.

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