Allianz closes on acquisition at New York's 30 Hudson Yards

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Allianz SE said on Friday it closed its acquisition of a stake in New York’s second-tallest office tower for 342 million euro ($384 million) and an undisclosed amount of debt, increasing its footprint in the city’s fashionable Hudson Yards.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of insurer Allianz SE is seen on the company building in Puteaux at the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris, outside Paris, France, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

Allianz said in a statement it acquired a 49% equity interest in 26 floors at 30 Hudson Yards previously owned by AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The $2.2 billion sale to Related Cos and an investor who was not named was announced in April.

The deal’s closing makes New York the fifth most significant city for Allianz’s real estate portfolio, the German insurer said.

In 2016, Allianz bought a 44% interest at nearby 10 Hudson Yards from retailer Coach, now called Tapestry Inc.

That transaction, also involving Related, gave Allianz first-hand knowledge of tenant demand and the attraction Hudson Yards has become for New Yorkers, said Christoph Donner, chief executive of Allianz Real Estate of America.

“It has become a magnet for tourists,” Donner said in an interview. “New York is a mega city, and these mega cities will continue to do well, they will continue to drive interest from tenants and tourists,” Donner said.

The construction of Hudson Yards, spearheaded by Related, has involved financing from U.S. banks and German, Dutch, Japanese and French lenders, said Craig Bender, head of Real Estate Finance Americas in ING.

“When it’s all said and done it’s going to be the real epicenter of New York,” Bender said of Hudson Yards.

In both transactions, WarnerMedia and Coach have leased back the space they sold. The space Allianz acquired at the 2.6 million square feet (241,500 square meter) 30 Hudson Yards, which has Manhattan’s highest outdoor observation deck, is about 1.46 million square feet.

The auction for the sale and lease-back was highly competitive, with about 10 large institutional bidders involved, said Doug Harmon, capital markets chairman at Cushman & Wakefield. The brokerage handled the bidding, leasing, financing and underwriting of the deal, among other aspects.

Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall