Sonar Real Estate lets 2,450 square metres of office space in ‘Upper Sendling’, Munich
Hamburg, 17 May 2022
Sonar Real Estate, in its function as asset manager of the SIS Stuttgart real estate special fund, has concluded a long-term letting of around 2,450 square metres in the "Upper Sendling" office building in Munich. The new occupier is a health insurance company.
The property, which was built in 2001, is situated at Aidenbachstrasse 54-56 in the south of Munich, the Bavarian capital. The latest letting brings the occupancy rate up to 96%. Knight Frank acted as brokerage consultant.
Holger Hosang, Managing Director of Sonar Real Estate, comments: "The Sendling submarket continues to increase in importance. By attracting a statutory health insurance company, we are contributing to the enhancement of the attractiveness of the district. The customer centre and its services that are planned here will further improve the quality of life of the local residents. This is consistent with our integrated ESG strategy, which of course includes taking into account the social impact of our actions."
‘Upper Sendling’ stands on an around 4,400 square metre site and provides a total lettable area of around 10,850 square metres. The property has a two-level underground car park with 153 spaces. It benefits from good public transport connections via a stop on U-Bahn Line 3, directly in front of the building. There is easy access to the A95 motorway via the adjoining Boschetsrieder Strasse.
Sonar Real Estate founds development company
Hamburg, 12 May 2022
Sonar Real Estate GmbH, the owner-managed real estate company in the areas of investment, asset management and development, has strengthened its development division with the founding of Sonar Development GmbH, a new company under the leadership of Daniel Jäde and Steffen Wittwer.
In addition to undertaking its own projects and acting as an internal development partner for Sonar Real Estate, the company will primarily participate in joint ventures with German and foreign investors and Family Offices, to realise new development and revitalisation projects.
Explaining the objectives of the new business. Christoph Wittkop, managing director of Sonar Real Estate said: “From the outset, having the competence to realise even major construction projects in-house has been one of the cornerstones of our business model. By founding a separate company for these activities, we are accentuating the importance of this area to us, as well as responding to the already mounting demand for this type of service.
“The need for refurbishment and compliance with ESG standards is becoming increasingly apparent in more than a few existing properties. What's more, for our clients pursuing a value-add or opportunistic approach, we can offer concerted expertise and dependable quality in the implementation of their projects," he added.
Advances in digitalisation, new expectations in terms of work-life balance and sustainability, as well as changing user needs, particularly in terms of housing and shopping, mean that many classic property concepts will have to be rethought, while new asset classes will gain in importance in the future. Sonar Development is seeking out new trends and opportunities, taking advantage of the organisational structure already in existence at Sonar Real Estate for the implementation of the projects. This also ensures that development projects across Germany can be managed directly, by local staff.
One of the first projects that Sonar Development will be facilitating as the development partner of Sonar Real Estate is the revitalisation of "Prisma", the currently-vacant landmark office building in Frankfurt. Sonar Real Estate has recently acquired the property, at Hahnstrasse 55, in a joint venture with a fund advised by Patron Capital Advisers. The objective is to modernise the building, which has a lettable area of 42,450 square metres, with a focus on sustainability.
Sonar Development will also construct the extensions to "LAN 131", in Berlin’s Landsberger Allee, which has a has a lettable area of around 13,000 square metres. In addition to the existing buildings, Sonar Real Estate and its joint venture partner Angelo Gordon plan to construct a new six-storey building, with a gross floor area of around 3,200 square metres, on the 5,900 square metre site. Planning consent has been granted and completion is scheduled for the third quarter of 2023.
Also in Berlin, Sonar Development will take on the work of extensive reconfiguration and addition of extra storeys to the former Vattenfall energy company headquarters, at Chausseestrasse 23. Sonar Real Estate, on behalf of an international real estate fund it manages Credit Suisse Asset Management, has concluded the lease of 21,500 square metres of office space in the building to the Institute for Federal Real Estate (BImA). A Federal Ministry is set to move into the building in the first half of 2024.
In addition to Daniel Jäde and Steffen Wittwer, Sonar Development’s team also includes staff from Sonar Real Estate. While Daniel Jäde is a managing partner and co-founder of Sonar Real Estate, Steffen Wittwer has joined from ECE Work & Live GmbH & Co. KG, where, for many years, he served as project director in the development division.
"As well as the projects already underway and new development opportunities, the assets managed by Sonar Real Estate feature a number of larger property developments that we would like to manage and implement in the framework of portfolio instructions. Our objective is to be a partner that can cover the entire value-added chain of a development or revitalisation project. I am looking forward to the task of building up Sonar Development GmbH in this business area together with the extended team.," said Daniel Jäde.
"We are also anticipating a great deal of future activity in the field of ESG-compliant rehabilitation of so-called ‘stranded assets’. Here, too, I would like to contribute my many years of experience in the project development sector and am looking forward to the new challenges that await me in my role.," added Steffen Wittwer, explaining his motivation for assuming a leading role in the expansion of development at Sonar Real Estate from Hamburg.
Patron and Sonar Real Estate acquire Prisma office building in Frankfurt from Commerz Real
London/Hamburg, 4 April 2022
Patron Capital, the pan-European investor focused on property-backed investments, and its joint-venture partner Sonar Real Estate have acquired Prisma, a landmark office building at Hahnstrasse 55 in Frankfurt, Germany, for an undisclosed sum. The vendor is the closed-end fund CFB 134 of Commerz Real, asset and investment manager of German Commerzbank.
Sonar will be responsible for the asset management and proposed repositioning of the building, which was built in 2001 and is currently vacant. Following design and planning phases, the 457,000 sq ft (42,450 sq m) space will be comprehensively renovated with a focus on sustainability and air quality through technical upgrades, including a new HVAC system. Incorporating the latest technology, the scheme will provide future tenants with state-of-the-art office space to meet and exceed their increasingly stringent requirements.
The ground-floor areas, including an impressive lobby with glazed atrium, will become public spaces, incorporating F&B and fitness amenities to reflect the ongoing transformation of Frankfurt’s Lyoner Quartier district from an area that was once purely an office location into a vibrant mixed-use destination.
Christoph Ignaczak, Senior Partner at Patron Capital, said: “This project represents an exciting opportunity to create a state-of-the-art, attractive office property as well as a vibrant destination within a part of Frankfurt that has seen significant development and diversification in recent years. We are pleased to be working with Sonar to implement an ESG-focused management strategy from day one, and are confident that our concept will be well received by future tenants.”
Holger Hosang, Managing Partner of Sonar Real Estate, said: “Observing and implementing ESG criteria in development and refurbishment projects has become part of our corporate philosophy. Through our in-house expertise, we focus not only on environmental aspects, but also on the social impact of our projects. Given its striking architecture and significant size, Prisma is a particularly exciting project in an excellent micro-location within the Lyoner Quartier. Our aim will be to preserve the property’s landmark status for future tenants, while developing it into a modern and ESG-compliant building.”
Patron Capital and Sonar received legal advice from Ashurst LLP, tax advice from Noerr and technical advice from Witte Projektmanagement. The vendor was represented by Colliers as exclusive sell-side advisor and received legal advice from Taylor Wessing.
HSBC provided debt financing for the purchase; Patron received debt advice from Laurus Property Partners and a valuation report for this purpose was carried out by BNP Paribas Real Estate.
Christina Diehl becomes Director Asset Management at Sonar Real Estate
Hamburg, 1 March 2022
Sonar Real Estate GmbH has reinforced its Frankfurt team with the appointment of Christina Diehl as Director Asset Management.
Reporting directly to Managing Director Holger Hosang, head of Sonar Real Estate's Central-South Region, she primarily assumes responsibility for "THE SQUAIRE" at Frankfurt Airport, which is managed by the company.
Diehl has been active in the real estate business for over 20 years and joins Sonar Real Estate from Curzon Advisers GmbH, where she was Director Asset Management Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Luxembourg. Earlier in her career she worked for GE Capital Real Estate, Imoplan Immobilien- Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH and CRE Resolution.
Holger Hosang, Managing Director of Sonar Real Estate, comments: "We are delighted to have gained Christina Diehl as an experienced member of staff with international expertise. This is particularly valuable for us: our company has clients from all parts of Europe. With her expertise, she will certainly be able to provide our - now six-strong - Frankfurt team with excellent support.”
Sonar Real Estate and Angelo Gordon buy multi-tenant property in Berlin-Lichtenberg from WALTER Beteiligungen und Immobilien AG
Hamburg, 2 February 2022
Sonar Real Estate and Angelo Gordon have acquired a multi-tenant property in Berlin-Lichtenberg as their first joint venture project. The vendor is WALTER Beteiligungen und Immobilien AG, which refurbished the asset between 2018 and 2021 for circa 7 million euros and optimised the tenant structure. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
The asset with the name "LAN 131" is situated at Oderbruchstrasse 10,12,14 / Landsberger Allee 131 A–C and is characterized by outstanding public transport connections, with tram and bus in front of the asset as well as ‘Landsberger Allee’ S-Bahn station in only four minutes walking distance, providing access to Berlin’s S-Bahn ring. The property offers a total of 13,000 square metres lettable area, 200 parking, 125 bicycle spaces and is 96% let with a weighted average unexpired lease term (WALT) of approx. 5.4 years. Office tenants benefit from a mix of F&B, retail as well as a gym on the ground floor.
In addition to the existing buildings, the joint venture partners plan to construct a new six-storey building, for which a building permit is in-place, providing around 3,200 square metres of gross floor area, which shall complete in Q3-2023. The partners plan to create a new internal courtyard as a significant benefit to tenants.
Marcel Hertig, Director at Angelo Gordon: “We are pleased to welcome Sonar Real Estate as a partner of Angelo Gordon as we continue to accelerate our ambitions in the German real estate market with our latest acquisition in Berlin. Sonar has an excellent reputation in the market, and we are grateful to have established what we expect will be a successful relationship with another operating partner active across Germany. Together with Sonar, we look forward to unlocking the value of this property’s existing and new buildings, with a focus on elements that will positively impact the local environment and the well-being of its’ tenants.”
Nick Puschkasch, Managing Partner at Sonar Real Estate: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Angelo Gordon as a well-respected partner for this investment. Together, we will leverage the value-add potential of the property, which is in one of Berlin's up-and-coming commercial submarkets. The opportunity to increase the density of the site fits particularly well with Sonar Real Estate’s strategy, with its strong focus on development activities.”
Jürgen Kolper, board member of WALTER Beteiligungen und Immobilien AG: “With Sonar Real Estate and Angelo Gordon, we have found experienced experts who will continue to successfully implement our value add strategy. After extensively refurbishing the property, optimising the tenant structure and obtaining planning permission for an extension to the office complex, we have laid the foundations for further optimisation of the property.”
REIUS. - Partners for Real Estate, E&Y, emproc Bauprojektmanagement, GuD Geotechnik und Dynamik Consult GmbH, Witte Projektmanagement GmbH and Graft Gesellschaft von Architekten acted as consultants to Sonar Real Estate and Angelo Gordon. JLL facilitated the transaction for the vendor and GrothmannGeiser Rechtsanwälte and the Sonntag law firm provided legal and tax advice.
Sonar Real Estate doubles assets under management to EUR 2.5 bn in 2021
Hamburg, 27 January 2022
Sonar Real Estate GmbH (Sonar), an owner-managed real estate company for investment and asset management as well as development, has increased its assets under management by 108%, from EUR 1.2 bn to EUR 2.5 bn in the first twelve months since its spin-off from Barings. Factors behind the increase included receiving instructions for the asset management of the “SQUAIRE” in Frankfurt, Germany’s largest office property.
Over the last year, Sonar facilitated three major transactions, with a total transaction volume of EUR 1.1 bn, for its partners and clients. They included around EUR 927 mn of acquisitions and EUR 200 mn of sales.
In July 2021, this resulted in the firm taking over the asset management of the Summit portfolio for the "EPISO 5" fund, advised by Tristan Capital. For this purpose, Sonar founded a joint venture with Rockspire GmbH and DW Real Estate GmbH, to manage the properties that provide a total of around 630,000 square metres of lettable commercial space.
Sonar also concluded leases on around 55,300 square metres of space within the properties it manages. New lettings accounted for 37,000 square metres of this total, with lease extensions making up 18,300 square metres. The largest single letting was the lease of 21,500 square metres of office space in Berlin Mitte to BImA Institute for Federal Real Estate.
Sonar has also implemented CapEx, T.I. and refurbishment works with a volume of EUR 14.8 mn in the properties it has under management.
The extraordinarily rapid growth of the company is reflected in its increased number of staff. By the end of 2021, 34 people, exactly twice as many as twelve months earlier, were employed in Sonar’s five offices across Germany.
Christoph Wittkop, Managing Director/CEO of Sonar, comments: "Our first year was extraordinarily successful. The spirit and the trustful cohesion of our dynamic team are excellent. This is an important success factor in accomplishing growth in our day-to-day work. This year, we expect a continued upward trend in the number of instructions managed, notwithstanding that the market situation for opportunity-oriented investments with value creation potential remains challenging. We will further strengthen our position in the area of development/revitalisation. We aim to grow further in this area. In addition, we are considering expanding the asset classes in which we are active."
Credit Suisse and Sonar let office space to the Institute for Federal Real Estate in Berlin
Hamburg, 16 December 2021
Credit Suisse Asset Management, with the support of Sonar Real Estate, has signed an exclusive agreement with the Institute for Federal Real Estate (BImA) on the letting of 21,500 sq m of office space in Berlin-Mitte. The Federal Ministry will occupy the building, at Chausseestrasse 23 once extensive works, including an additional storey, have been undertaken. Earlier, the property served as the headquarters of the Vattenfall energy group.
The owner of the office building at Chausseestrasse 23 in Berlin-Mitte is an international real estate fund managed by Credit Suisse Asset Management. Centrally situated near the Naturkundemuseum U-Bahn station, it has good public transport connections by tram and bus, together with mainline services at the nearby central railway station. The Sonar Real Estate team has managed the property as local asset manager for multiple years, with several changes of ownership. Until recently, the seven-storey building served as the headquarters of the Vattenfall energy group in Berlin.
The lease, agreed by the BImA on behalf of a Federal Ministry, runs for a 15-year term. The Ministry will take occupation of the building, as sole tenant, in the first half of 2024. As soon as planning permission has been granted, Credit Suisse Asset Management, supported by Sonar Real Estate, is planning extensive reconfiguration works, including adding an additional storey. This will significantly increase the value of the property and adapt it to the needs of the new tenant.
Jean Pascal Grevsmühl, Head Real Estate Asset Management EMEA at Credit Suisse: "We are delighted to have secured BImA as a long-term tenant of this unique property in a prime location in Berlin-Mitte. This transaction endorses our strategy of mainly investing in high-quality and centrally located office properties in the major cities in Germany, in addition to logistics properties.″
Nick Puschkasch, Managing Partner of Sonar Real Estate: "The successful re-letting of the building demonstrates that, even in a more difficult market environment, charismatic properties in strategically interesting locations are an excellent investment, particularly in the federal capital. The prerequisites for this are a team with an excellent market network, like ours at Sonar, creativity and, of course, a property with modern fit-out.″
BNP Paribas Real Estate brokered the letting and CMS provided legal advice to the landlord.
Sonar Real Estate lets around 2,000 square metres in ‘Upper Sendling’, Munich
Hamburg, 3 November 2021
Sonar Real Estate GmbH, an owner-managed real estate company for investment & asset management and development projects, has let 1,920 square metres of space in the "Upper Sendling" office building in Munich, acting in its function as asset manager for an institutional investor.
The new tenant at the property, at Aidenbachstrasse 54-56 in the south of the Bavarian capital, is a modern mobility service provider. Savills acted as brokerage consultant.
Constructed in 2001, the Upper Sendling property stands on an around 4,400 square metre site and provides a total lettable area of around 10,850 square metres. The property has a two-level underground car park, with 153 car spaces.
The property has excellent public transport connections provided by the Aidenbachstrasse station, on the U3 underground line, directly outside the building. There is also easy access to the A95 motorway via the adjoining Boschetsrieder Strasse.
Sonar and Savills advise Artmax with market entry in Germany and acquisition of an office property near Kurfürstendamm
Berlin, 5 October 2021
Sonar Real Estate GmbH (“Sonar”), an owner-managed real estate company for investment and asset management, as well as development, acting in its function as investment manager has advised Artmax AB (Artmax) in the acquisition of an office property in Berlin. Artmax property is part of a privately owned investment company and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. This acquisition also marks the entry into the German market of company. Sonar is to take over the asset management of the property for Artmax.
The vendor is Nicolas Berggruen Holdings GmbH. The purchase price is in the mid double-digit million Euro bracket.
The property is the former Löbbecke bank, at Fasanenstrasse 77, just around the corner from Kurfürstendamm. The building provides a lettable area of c. 5,400 square metres that is fully let, mainly to lawyers, notaries and tax consultants, as well as an eye clinic.
"By acquiring Fasanenstrasse 77 we have succeeded in laying the foundation for our activities in one of Europe’s most promising office markets. The proximity to Kurfürstendamm provides a prestigious location for the tenants and, for us as investors, a wide range of potential for adding value," comments Kristoffer Ultenius, Managing Director of Artmax.
“The acquisition of this high-quality property in a prime location as well as the cooperation with Artmax is another important step in the development of Sonar and therefore we are pleased about the successful closing", adds Nick Puschkasch, Managing Partner of Sonar.
JLL, Pöllath + Partners and gfp Enders Projektmanagement exclusively advised the vendor side. Savills, Herbert Smith Freehills, and Drees & Sommer acted as consultants to the purchaser.
Sonar Real Estate, DW Real Estate, and Rockspire found an asset management joint venture for the Summit portfolio
Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, 16 August 2021
A joint venture, newly founded by Sonar Real Estate GmbH, DW Real Estate GmbH and Rockspire GmbH, has been mandated by Tristan Capital Partners (Tristan) to manage the Summit portfolio. The companies involved had already worked together with the "EPISO 5" fund, which was advised by Tristan, during the due diligence and the purchase of the total of 69 commercial properties, and were involved as co-investors.
The diversified portfolio, which is spread throughout Germany, comprises a total lettable area of around 631,000 square metres. Around 60% of this is office space, with 30% of warehouse and industrial usage. The remaining 10% is made up of retail centres and mixed-use properties.
The properties are located in attractive locations in and around Germany's top seven cities, as well as in ‘B’ locations or submarkets featuring low vacancy rates and stable demand from highly liquid German and international investors.
The properties, which have a diversified and robust use profile, are let to over 300 tenants from commercially stable sectors. The portfolio provides significant value-add opportunities, including the potential to develop residential, office and industrial properties in markets where Tristan Capital Partners and the three partners already have a successful track record.
Christoph Wittkop from Sonar Real Estate comments on behalf of the joint venture: “This was a rare opportunity to acquire a diverse mixture of attractive assets in the main regions in Germany which require local asset management. Given the number of assets the idea of setting up an asset management joint venture of experienced local partner to advise the Tristan opportunity fund was born already during acquisition and due diligence phase. The joint venture of DW, Rockspire and Sonar will take over the asset management and sales activities with their local teams. We are looking forward to the implementation of the business plan, and to the well-rehearsed cooperation with the Tristan team, especially with newest addition Oliver Kunze, who will be responsible for this portfolio.”
Sonar Real Estate takes over asset management for "The Squaire" at Frankfurt Airport
Hamburg/Frankfurt, 20 May 2021
Sonar Real Estate GmbH, an owner-managed real estate company for investment and asset management as well as project developments, has been entrusted with the operational management of Frankfurt's landmark property "The Squaire" at Frankfurt Airport.
Christoph Wittkop, CEO of Sonar Real Estate, comments: "‘The Squaire’ is one of the most iconic commercial properties in Germany. To be entrusted with the operational management of this unique complex is a particularly important task - especially now that the Corona pandemic is presenting the real estate industry with special challenges."
“The Squaire” is a 660 meters long architectural masterpiece, up to 65 meters wide and 45 meters high, that was built between 2007 and 2011 according to the plans of JSK International Architekten. The total leasable area of “The SQUAIRE” is of around 143,000 square meters spread over eleven floors, which includes around 93,400 square meters of office space and approximately 5,900 square meters of retail and restaurant space. “The Squaire” is an extremely well-connected micro-city within Frankfurt, where customers can find many restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, as well as other high-end retail options.
“The Squaire” also accommodates two award-winning Hilton hotels, offering 583 rooms, 3 restaurants and prestigious conference rooms with capacity of up to 200 people. Integrated into the complex is "The Squaire Parking," which offers tenants and visitors 3,125 parking spaces on a total of nine levels. It was the first parking garage in Europe to be awarded LEED Gold certification.
Sonar Real Estate will work with Fraport's real estate management team, which has successfully managed the property as property manager since its inception.
"We have set out to increase the synergy effects between the various users and tenants as quickly as possible. Measures for this include the development and implementation of new space concepts, a further improvement of the tenant mix and of the services offering", says Holger Hosang, Managing Director of Sonar Real Estate and responsible for the Transaction and Asset Management divisions, explaining the upcoming plans.
In addition to the Hilton hotels, anchor tenants include KPMG, Michelin, Atos and Porsche Consulting. Other tenants include renowned companies such as Nemak, Arthur D. Little, REWE, Rossmann, Plug and Work.
“The Squaire” is the best-connected property in Germany: it is directly connected to Frankfurt airport's Terminal 1 via a convenient walkway, and it is situated atop of an ICE long-distance high-speed train station. In addition, it is located directly between the A3 freeway and the parallel B43 federal highway near the Frankfurt interchange.
“German Commercial Property for The Anglosphere” with Christoph Wittkop, CEO of Sonar Real Estate
29. March 2021
Christoph Wittkop, CEO of Sonar Real Estate, talked to Paul Norman from CoStar as part of Realla’s “Commercial Property Pioneers” podcast series. Among other things, he explains why he saw more opportunities than risks in the founding of Sonar, even during the Corona pandemic, what his personal real estate Bible is and which coalition he expects after the elections in Germany in autumn 2021.
Sonar Real Estate nominated for immobilienmanager Award with "Roxy Palast Berlin"
20 January 2021
Sonar Real Estate is among the top five nominees for this year's "immobilienmanager Award" in the "Management" category for its involvement with the "Roxy Palast Berlin".
The listed Roxy Palast, designed by architect Martin Punitzer in Berlin-Friedenau, was extensively renovated and successfully repositioned by the end of last year. The focus was on the substantial restoration of the building's original appearance from 1930.
Approximately 4,800 square metres of usable space in the property was fully let over the duration of the renovation project. The largest occupier is the BBA - Akademie der Immobilienwirtschaft e.V. (Academy of the Real Estate Industry). On the ground floor of the property, in the former cinema hall, the lease with the existing tenant LPG Bio Markt was also successfully extended on a long-term basis. The coworking operator St. Oberholz, which uses large parts of the ground floor and the newly created studio in the former stage tower, rounds off the range of users. The result is a tenant mix of a training centre, coworking space and local amenities that further enhance the Friedenau submarket around Breslauer Platz and returns an important historic building to the Berlin real estate market.
On 11 March, the winners of the im-Award 2021 will be announced in a freely accessible online stream.
Holger Hosang to be director of Sonar Real Estate
Hamburg, 18 November 2020
Holger Hosang, 49, a fully qualified lawyer, will join Sonar Real Estate GmbH as a managing director on 1 January 2021. Sonar, the real estate company for investment, asset management and development, was founded in October 2020. Following a strategic repositioning, Barings transitioned their non-core German third party asset management and advisory business to Sonar.
Jointly with Nick Puschkasch, Holger Hosang will lead the Transaction & Asset Management division at Sonar Real Estate. The other directors are Christoph Wittkop (CEO), Matthias Gerloff (fund management & investment solutions) and Daniel Jäde (development & project management). Like Nick Puschkasch, they have joined the new company from Barings Deutschland.
Holger Hosang joins Sonar from Allianz Real Estate, where he has worked since 2015, most recently as Director Germany and Head of Asset Management North & Central Europe, leading the asset management team in central, eastern and northern Europe.
Until 2015, Holger Hosang worked for PAMERA Asset Management GmbH, which was co-founded by Christoph Wittkop. The company was taken over by Barings in 2014. Previously, Hosang was Director Asset Management at SVP Global, where he was in charge of the company’s real estate portfolio.
At Sonar Real Estate, in addition to his position as Director and Head of the Central/Southern region, based in Frankfurt, he will develop and manage the Sonar offices in Frankfurt and Munich.
Christoph Wittkop, CEO of Sonar Real Estate, comments: "I have great respect for Holger Hosang as a person and as an experienced professional in the asset and transaction management of commercial real estate, particularly office and retail properties. I am therefore delighted that he is coming on board with us. Due to his excellent network in the market he will be a great support in establishing Sonar Real Estate as a partner for domestic and international investors in Germany.”
Holger Hosang explains: “I am looking forward to the challenge managing the newly-founded company, in association with the other directors. I will apply my expertise to support the team, who I have known and worked with for years, in establishing Sonar Real Estate in the market. Innovations, particularly the freedom and flexibility to implement new ideas, have been one of the main drivers of my career and I am looking forward to this even more in the future. I am confident that there will be good opportunities for successful real estate investments - and that we will take advantage of them.”
Sonar Real Estate is set up for German and foreign investors seeking an entrepreneurial local partner in Germany and, if required, a co-investor, with a primary focus on Value-Add and opportunistic investments. In addition, Sonar is looking to expand its business in the areas of development, club deals and individual client instructions in regulated vehicles with German institutional investors.
Team around Christoph Wittkop founds Sonar Real Estate, anticipates initial EUR 1.2 bn of assets under management
Hamburg, 12 October 2020
Sonar Real Estate GmbH is a new company for real estate investment, asset management and development that is expected to commence operations from its head office in Hamburg in December 2020. Christoph Wittkop (48), formerly Managing Director and Real Estate Country Head Germany at Barings, one of the world's largest real estate investment managers, will be the Chairman of the Management Board.
In an agreed deal with Barings, Barings will transition their German non-core third party asset management and advisory mandates that will no longer be part of the company's core business to Sonar Real Estate, whilst retaining their investment management assets, which Barings Germany will continue to manage.
Sonar Real Estate will focus on commercial property in the office, retail and logistics sector in Germany. The risk profile of the properties managed ranges from Core/Core+ through Value-Add to Opportunistic. Special attention with also be paid to in-house or partnership development projects in these segments.
The target clients will be German and foreign investors seeking an entrepreneurial local partner in Germany and, if required, a co-investor, with a primary focus on Value-Add and Opportunistic investments. The existing business of club deals and separate accounts from German institutional investors in regulated vehicles will also be further expanded. For this, Sonar Real Estate will take over the mandates previously awarded to Barings by investors via the investor-KVG Institutional Investment Partners (2IP) and will continue the successful cooperation since 2012. Some EUR 750 million of the assets under management are already administered by 2ip.
In addition to Christoph Wittkop and Matthias Gerloff (Head of German Institutional Investors and Fund Management), the other founding members of Sonar Real Estate are Nick Puschkasch (Head of the Eastern Region and Head of Asset Management) and Daniel Jäde (Head of Development and Project Management), all of whom transition from Barings Germany.
Sonar Real Estate begins its operation with offices in Hamburg, Berlin and Dusseldorf, and 17 employees. A new office in Frankfurt will shortly be established, which will be managed by a further managing partner from January 2021.
Christoph Wittkop, Managing Director/CEO of Sonar Real Estate, comments: “Following our success at Barings, my co-founders and I are looking forward to the challenge of once again leading and expanding an owner-managed company at Sonar Real Estate. Our competent and experienced team, who have successfully worked together for many years, have an excellent network in the industry.
“We know what makes the market tick and how to manage, with success, challenges that are off the beaten track. For this reason, and in view of our impressive track record in recent years, we are firmly convinced that Sonar Real Estate will quickly become established as a competent partner for domestic and international investors in Germany.”
Christoph Wittkop, a qualified business economist and real estate economist, has been active in the real estate sector since 1997. In the past he has successfully managed a number of asset management companies. Prior to joining Barings, he was a co-founder and managing director of PAMERA Asset Management GmbH, until the company was acquired by Barings in 2014. Between 2005 and 2010, as partner and CEO of Asset Manager Resolution GmbH, he headed the management of a real estate portfolio for well-known investors, focussing on Value-Add and Opportunistic properties. Other positions held during his long career include those at UBS Global Asset Management, Deutsche Bank and Eurohypo.