The commercial property market in 2017

The total 2017 turnover volume increased compared to 2016. The trend from last year has continued, with high activity and a large number of transactions, but few portfolio sales.

In 2017, Wiersholm assisted in 115 transactions with a total property value of more than NOK 45 billion. That is an increase of 25 transactions over 2016, and with that, we consolidate our strong position in the commercial property market.

The work has involved the assistance of lawyers from all practice areas that come into contact with commercial property. In addition, this year Wiersholm's client portfolio has covered the whole spectrum of property players, from the industrial landowners and the family-owned companies, to syndicates and property funds. Regardless of name and track record, our property team has focussed on our most important work assignment; namely to create security and ensure the implementation of the specific transaction we are working on at any given time. That way, we also create added value for our clients. Our competent and broad-based property team, with experience from company law and M&A, from taxes and duties, and from contracts, property and financing make this possible.

Examples of transactions Wiersholm has assisted with in 2017:

• Deka Immobilien's acquisition of Vika Utvikling AS, the company that owns the property Cort Adelers gate 33 in Oslo. The building is leased to Advokatfirmaet SANDS. The transaction was valued at approximately NOK 730 million (Source: Estate News). Wiersholm assisted the buyer.

• Telenor Eiendom Holding AS' sale of the shares of the holding company of Kongens gate 8 and Kirkegaten 9 in Oslo. The buyer of the shares was a syndicate. Most of the property is leased to Statsbygg, and it is the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries that use the premises. The property value, with the addition of the value of an annuity rent, was in excess of NOK 900 million (Source: Estate Nyheter). Wiersholm assisted the seller.

A trend in 2017 has been that the financing market has become slightly more challenging. Traditional bank financing made room for alternative financing models, such as bond loans and seller's credits, to a greater extent than previous years. There is also an increase in the number of transactions that are financed with 100% equity, or the existing financing continues with the new owner of the shares of the borrower's company.

Wiersholm also assists property players with financing. For example, Wiersholm assisted AB Invest from the Norwegian side when the company collected NOK 1,4 billion on the Swedish bond market.

2018 will be an exciting year, with constant fluctuations in the housing market, expected interest rate increase and increased global uncertainty, while the fall in oil prices appears to have stopped. The conditions are favourable for another active property year; everyone in Wiersholm's property team is looking forward to what the new year will bring.

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