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The rise in investor appetite for car parks reached new heights this year with news that Dutch real estate group Bouwfonds Investment Management was to put a EUR 250m portfolio on the market.

Car parks are an alternative asset class that is viewed as a relatively safe bet by investors. Returns increasingly surpass those yielded by office developments and more traditional real estate assets.

CMS Amsterdam partner Willie Ambergen has been a long-time tax adviser to Bouwfonds and its holding company Rabobank for real estate-related tax issues.

Multidisciplinary teams from CMS in France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK advised on tax and legal aspects of the sale which was conducted via an auction process and attracted significant interest from long-income investors. The winning bidder will be announced later this year.

Willie Ambergen said, “The tax structuring was extremely complex. Apart from the tax issues, we had to deal with some significant corporate, financing and regulatory issues in all jurisdictions. The help from corporate, banking and regulatory colleagues was essential for the deal.

The cooperation between the 40-lawyer tax and legal teams that worked on the deal across six Europe jurisdictions demonstrates the power of CMS.
Willie Ambergen, Partner, CMS Amsterdam

CMS Utrecht partner Hein van der Meer, who led the team advising on the portfolio sale, said, “There is a lot of market liquidity seeking out alternative asset classes and car parks are currently viewed as providing good returns at a reasonably low risk.

“This deal was tough, both in terms of the negotiations and the deadlines. There was a lot of serious money chasing this highly attractive portfolio.”

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