UAE-based GII closes its biggest trade with $301M purchase of Paris’ Altais Towers

National Weekend Edition /
Mar.March 06, 2021 09:00 AM
Gulf Islamic Investments Chairman H.E. Mohammed Rashed Alnasri with Paris’ Altais Towers. (GII, Reichen Et Robert & Associés)

Gulf Islamic Investments Chairman H.E. Mohammed Rashed Alnasri with Paris’ Altais Towers. (GII, Reichen Et Robert & Associés)

Gulf Islamic Investments has closed its biggest ever real estate transaction, paying $301 million for the Altais Towers in Paris.

The firm bought the towers from a consortium of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. The United Arab Emirates-based firm is making a push into Europe, according to Bloomberg.

GII said it has deals in the works in the United Kingdom and Germany. The firm aims to expand its assets under management from about $2.5 billion to roughly $3 billion by the end of the year. The firm plans to launch its second India-focused fund in the second quarter.

GII was founded in 2004 and focuses on alternative investments, including real estate and venture capital. It considers itself a Shariah-compliant fund, meaning that it follows Shariah law requirements in operation and in its investments.

Shariah-compliant funds each operate differently, but generally they stay away from businesses considered haram, such as liquor manufacturing and gambling.

Income is also heavily regulated. For example, short-selling is problematic in most cases, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Interest is generally considered to be forbidden under Shariah law, so some compliant funds will donate that income to charity.

In mid-2019, GII bought Realogy’s New Jersey corporate headquarters for $115 million, making it the largest commercial real estate deal in the tri-state area that year.

[Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch


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