The sale represents the United States’ largest commercial transaction to occur amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
The joint venture led by SHVO and Deutsche Finance America closed today on the acquisition of the Transamerica Pyramid Center, San Francisco’s most recognizable office tower and a fixture in the waterfront skyline for nearly 50 years. It is the first time that the building has sold. The joint venture purchased the 48-story tower and complex for $650 million from Aegon NV, the Dutch insurance company that assumed ownership the property in 1999 as part of its purchase of Transamerica Corporation, the building’s namesake, which has owned and operated the tower since its completion. SHVO and Deutsche Finance America will ensure the Transamerica Pyramid’s instantly recognizable profile and the Transamerica Corporation’s logo will be maintained. SHVO and Deutsche Finance America acquired the properties together with a group of European investors anchored by Bayerische Versorgungskammer (“BVK”). Germany´s largest pension scheme group under public law represented by Universal-Investment-Luxembourg S.A. as AIFM.”
The Transamerica Pyramid opened in 1972 at 600 Montgomery Street, long known as the “Wall Street of the West” and the gateway to San Francisco’s Financial District. The tower was designed by the famed firm William L. Pereira & Associates, which helped define California’s distinctive modernism in the second half of the 20th century. It is currently the third largest pyramid on the planet. The Complex covers an entire city block and includes three buildings totaling approximately 750,000 square feet – the iconic pyramid-shaped tower, the office building at 505 Sansome Street, and a redevelopment site set for approximately 100,000 square feet of office redevelopment at 545 Sansome Street. Anchoring all three buildings is the Transamerica Redwood Park, an urban oasis featuring a grove of mature redwood trees shading public open space. SHVO and Deutsche Finance America plan to execute a renovation project to provide first-class amenity and state-of-the-art spaces throughout both the Transamerica Pyramid and 505 Sansome.
“We’re proud to take on ownership and management of the Transamerica Pyramid – the most famous and recognizable skyscraper on the West Coast, and one of the most memorable office towers in the world,” said Michael Shvo, Chairman and CEO of SHVO. “This iconic tower is an important addition to our portfolio of celebrated properties, enduring landmarks, and architectural gems. It’s a classic building for all time that mirrors the forward-looking spirit of the Bay Area and of our own company. We’re thrilled to bring this property into its next renaissance.”
Jason Lucas, managing partner of Deutsche Finance America added: “This marquee property in one of America’s most picturesque cities is a game-changing next step in our already strong portfolio of exceptional investments. This is yet another example of SHVO and DEUTSCHE FINANCE GROUP seeking out the best and highest quality prime assets to add to our thriving national portfolio.”
Deutsche Finance America and SHVO have invested in nine iconic properties in prime locations over the last two years. The group recently acquired the “Big Red” tower at 333 South Wabash in Chicago, as well as two office buildings in Manhattan, the former Coca-Cola Building at 711 Fifth Avenue and 530 Broadway in SoHo. SHVO and Deutsche Finance Americas also purchased the historic Raleigh, Richmond, and South Seas Hotels in Miami Beach, in addition to a new venture that will see properties at 9200 Wilshire in Beverly Hills and 685 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan sold as luxury Mandarin Oriental residences.
About DEUTSCHE FINANCE GROUP
DEUTSCHE FINANCE GROUP (“DFG”) is a global real estate investment management firm managing more than €6.9 billion in assets. Established in 2005, DFG is headquartered in Munich with offices in London, Denver, Zurich, Luxembourg and Madrid. Deutsche Finance America (“DFA”) is a subsidiary company established in 2018 to source, structure, and asset manage direct real estate investments in the United States on behalf of DFG’s institutional client accounts and managed funds. Deutsche Finance America has closed on 13 acquisitions totaling approximately $2 billion of equity.
SHVO is a real estate investment firm built on the vision of the firm’s founder and CEO, Michael Shvo, to create culture-defining experiences in iconic properties. SHVO has a proven track record of setting a standard that others follow, acquiring and managing super-prime assets that result in extraordinary value for investors. Leveraging a deep understanding of market fundamentals, insights into global trends, operational excellence, and top-tier talent, SHVO is best-in-class at unlocking value in every project the company undertakes. This record of increasing demand while achieving premiums has secured investment from the world’s most selective institutional investors.
About Bayerische Versorgungskammer
Bayerische Versorgungskammer is the competence and service center for occupational and communal pension schemes and Germany´s largest pension scheme group under public law. As a public authority of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, it is the joint executive body of twelve liberal professions´ and communal pension schemes. Bayerische Versorgungskammer covers about 2.4 million insured persons in total, with contributions of € 5.0 billion and about € 3.6 billion pension payments annually. It currently has € 81.7 billion assets under management and more than 1,350 employees.
With fund assets of around EUR 598 billion under administration, thereof EUR 409 billion in own vehicles and around EUR 189 billion in, inter alia, insourcing, well over 1,500 mutual and special investment mandates and a workforce of around 750, Universal-Investment is the largest independent investment company in the German-speaking region. With the acquisition of UI labs in January 2019, the industry-leading IT data specialist now completes the Group’s service portfolio by adding front office and data solutions. The investment company is the central platform for independent asset management and unifies the investment know-how of portfolio managers, private banks, asset managers and investment boutiques. Founded in 1968, the Universal-Investment Group is headquartered in Frankfurt/Main and has subsidiaries, branches and holdings in Luxembourg, Poland and Austria. It is one of the pioneers of the investment industry and has meanwhile become the market leader in the areas of master-KVG and private label funds. According to the 2020 PwC ManCo Survey, Universal-Investment is the largest AIFM ManCo in Luxembourg; among the Third-Party-ManCos,Universal-Investment ranks second (as of September 30, 2020).