Aberdeen Standard €2.3bn property business acquired

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) said on Monday it selected DEAS Group, the asset and property management group in Denmark, as the preferred bidder to acquire its Nordic direct real estate business.

The deal includes real estate investments in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. 

Aberdeen Standard said the proposed transaction, assuming completion, would result in DEAS Group taking over the management of 132 properties representing a value of €2.3 billion assets under management (AuM).

Aberdeen Standard said it remains committed to the Nordic region and will continue to have exposure to the region across its pan-European and sector specific real estate funds.

To facilitate this, Aberdeen Standard intends to appoint DEAS Asset Management to manage its €1.7 billion portfolio of Nordic assets.

This brings the total assets under the proposed deal managed by DEAS Asset Management to €4 billion.

Neil Slater, Global Head of Real Estate, Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “We are delighted to partner with DEAS Group to create a long-term solution for our domestic real estate business across the Nordics.

“Our primary focus was to find a high quality asset manager that continues to provide a superior service for clients invested in Nordic direct real estate portfolios.

“Furthermore, as part of the intended transaction, we will enter into a domestic asset management arrangement with DEAS Asset Management enabling ASI to continue, as part of its international real estate strategy, to have an investment allocation to the Nordics.

“After an extensive due diligence process, DEAS Group was a clear choice from a client, cultural and real estate perspective”.

DEAS Asset Management, the independent subsidiary within the group, will manage the new activities and consequently conduct asset management of a property portfolio totalling €8.2 billion AuM.

DEAS Group CEO Henrik Dahl Jeppesen said: “The DEAS Group’s proposed acquisition of the Nordic direct real estate business of Aberdeen Standard Investments and the future cooperation follows a broader Nordic strategy focusing on pursuing growth opportunities in all four markets.

“Above all, our prime focus is on creating strong investment results for our investors.

“Our intention is to establish a pan-Nordic full-service provider within real estate that offers execution in all stages of the value chain for investors.

“We will build on local expertise and best practice throughout the Nordic region.”

The proposed transaction is subject to Aberdeen Standard completing consultations with the relevant Swedish trade unions — Unionen, Ledarna and Sveriges Ingenjörer, Akademikerförbundet SSR, Akavia and Sveriges Arkitekter — and procuring the relevant internal board approvals.

Following execution, the deal will remain subject to certain standard completion conditions such as the procurement of regulatory and other approvals.

The parties expect to be in a position to complete by the end of Q1 or the beginning of Q2 2021.