15 February, La Stampa
With 650 million euro, 1.5 billion considering the financial leverage, the Coima Ceo Manfredi Catella closes the collections for the biggest Italian property fund, the Coima Opportunity Fund II.
The new fund managed by Coima Sgr is dedicated to real estate development. Will the fund participate also in the requalification projects of the Milan train stations? “Depends on how quick Ferrovie dello Stato and the institutions involved will be. We keep a long-term perspective. Ten years ago, nobody would have thought Porta Nuova would have turned this way, but we believed in that. Real estate cannot be evaluated in a short-term period, even though we’ll sell some properties to proof the high value of our buildings. For this reason, investors trust us without knowing how their money will be invested and sometimes even co-investing outside the fund”. 90% of the investors are international. “It took us 18 months to involve them. They’re mostly sovereign funds and retirement fund from North America and Asia, two of which are government funds. We promise them a 12% return, and 500 million have been already invested to renovate the former Unilever offices and to obtain the rights from the City of Milan on the Melchiorre Gioia area”.
According to Catella, there are no new clients, rather we assist a reorganization of the already existing players. “There is no Brexit effect – he says – Goldman Sachs is changing headquarters and is increasing its staff, but what does it change for us? Even having lost the competition over EMA is not undermining factor for us. The new trend is represented by the technology companies such as Samsung, Google, Amazon and Microsoft that are moving from outside the city to the centre to attract more people and be more visible to consumers”. Catella has been managing since 2013 all the properties in Porta Nuova transferred to the Qatar fund, from the Vertical Forest to the Unicredit tower. The park between these to buildings is almost finished and in two years and a half, the Unipol tower will be also ready.
In the meanwhile, the Unicredit Pavillion, located between the tower occupied by the bank and the Coima headquarters, might go to this latter. “It needs to be more integrated into the square, and there are already negotiations going on for this purpose, but everything depends on Unicredit”, says Catella. As we can see from the eco-sustainable and technologic details of the new offices, the real estate developer has realized that offices are changing and that also houses and student accommodations need to meet the new needs. For this purpose, he decided to launch together with his wife Kelly a task force on sustainable innovation, which, along with the foundation dedicated to his father Riccardo, will work on the more general matters concerning the future of real estate.
Source: La Stampa
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi