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MILAN, ITALY-In one of the largest sales in Europe this year, the German open fund Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Immobilienfonds (DEGI) has paid USD$234 million (200 million Euro) for Bodio Center, a 700,000-sf (65,000-sm) office development in the central Milan district of Bovisa.

The three-building, 384,000-sf first phase of the project, completed last year, is fully leased, with one building leased by the insurance and financial services firm Marsh McLennan, and the two others leased by Unicredito Italiano SpA, one of Italy’s largest banks.

The second phase is under construction and slated for completion for January 2004. As part of the transaction DEGI has engaged Europa Risorse, Doughty Hanson Real Estate’s Italian operating platform, to complete Phase Two and manage the whole property.

Bodio Center is one of first master-planned, urban business parks. The seller was the developer, Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate of London. It acquired the Bodio Center property, a former Alcatel office and production facility, in December 2000 and proceeded to turn the derelict site into a business center with underground parking for 700 cars.

With the proceeds of the Bodio sale, investors in Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate will have received cumulative distributions of more than 50% of cash invested much faster than initially anticipated. “In the past, fundraising for European real estate funds has been about who could talk the best game on acquisitions,” says Marc Mogull, Doughty Hanson Managing Partner. “In the future, it will be about who can demonstrate the best track record on exits and realized returns.”

Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate was advised on the sale of Bodio Center by Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker. DEGI was advised by FPD Savills.

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