Optimisation of Hewlett Packard’s Real Estate situation: Sale & Leaseback / Development in Geneva

Starting point

In 2012 Hewlett Packard (HP) was looking for a service provider able to optimise its real estate situation in the industrial zone of Meyrin (Geneva). SPG Intercity Geneva obtained the consultancy and sales mandate through a pitch competition.

The challenge was to combine the sale of the existing site, which in terms of size and layout no longer corresponded to the needs of HP and the future development of the new EMEA Headquarters on the same plot of land. The final strategy was to achieve a maximum value through two distinct operations. The first consisted in finding an investor willing to take over the land lease and the existing building (9’000 sqm) through a short period sale and leaseback transaction. It was finally HIAG Immobilien, a significant Swiss developer of industrial sites, who acquired the current building and the new defined perimeter.

The search for the ideal partner

The second phase of the collaboration (2014-2015) consisted of finding a developer-investor capable of meeting the following three main criteria of the transaction:

Capacity to renegotiate the existing land lease conditions in place between HP and the FTI (Fondation des terrains industriels)

- Ensure the delivery of the new tailor made building for HP by the end of 2016

- Establishment of a long term lease at market conditions

And the winner is…

As the situation was considerably complex, finally only 3 developer offers stood out. Once again the proposal of HIAG Immobilien was the most convincing as the introduced project was not only modern and efficient but also met the very tight time line. Therefore HIAG is now the owner in charge of the construction project which will be home to the HP EMEA Headquarters.

It is with satisfaction that SPG Intercity looks back on the collaboration with HP on the second phase. It was a project full of challenges as within two years the real estate market considerably changed for these types of transactions. The sales project management required a lot of reactivity in adapting the initial strategy to respond to the fluctuation of HP’s space requirements and the instable market fluctuation and meeting the IT company’s requirements.