Investcorp acquires Coca-Cola Belgium HQ for $98m

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Updated 18 March 2020

Investcorp acquires Coca-Cola Belgium HQ for $98m

 Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, has announced that its European real estate business has entered the Belgium market through the acquisition of The Bridge, a single-let office and research and development (R&D) asset located in Brussels. Investcorp has acquired 100 percent of the property from a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company for 88 million euros ($98 million) through a sale and 10-year leaseback transaction.
The property serves as The Coca-Cola Company’s Belgian headquarters, housing its marketing and R&D functions. Upon completion, the property will be 100 percent occupied by Coca-Cola and several of its existing sub-tenants. The acquisition represents Investcorp’s first sale and leaseback real estate transaction in Europe.
Located in southwest Brussels, The Bridge offers convenient access to major European cities, including Paris and London via train. Built in 2001, the property comprises three interconnected buildings, which provide 35,300 square meters of office and R&D space. The local area is also set to benefit from the Belgian government’s new “Canal Plan,” which is the largest urban development plan in the Brussels region, consisting of a new mixed neighborhood of commercial and residential properties.
The purchase of The Bridge follows Investcorp’s recent acquisitions of a multi-let office complex in Munich, Germany, for 73 million euros and the acquisition of a grade A office property in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for 50 million euros.
Yasser Bajsair, managing director at Investcorp for the Saudi Arabia market, said: “With growing and active real estate markets, we believe that now is an ideal time to expand our real estate platform in the Benelux region. We are excited to enter the Belgian market with a high-quality property and tenant in Coca-Cola.
Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on targeting properties that we believe are positioned to generate strong cash-flows while offering additional upside potential.”


Ford works with 3M, GE in fight against COVID-19

Ford Motor Company’s US design team is quickly creating and starting to test transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders.
Updated 31 March 2020

Ford works with 3M, GE in fight against COVID-19

Ford Motor Company, joining forces with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare, is lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for health care workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus.
In addition, Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields per week and leverage its in-house 3D printing capability to produce components for use in personal protective equipment.
“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman.
Ford team members are working with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of their powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) designs and working jointly to develop a new design leveraging parts from both companies to meet the surge demand for first responders and health care workers. This new respirator could be produced in a Ford facility by UAW workers.
To go as fast as possible, the Ford and 3M teams have been resourcefully locating off-the-shelf parts like fans from the Ford F-150’s cooled seats for airflow, 3M HEPA air filters to filter airborne contaminants such as droplets that carry virus particles and portable tool battery packs to power these respirators for up to eight hours.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Ford is working with 3M to manufacture at scale powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs).

• Ford and GE Healthcare are working to produce a simplified version of GE Healthcare’s existing ventilator design.

• Ford, in cooperation with the UAW, will assemble more than 100,000 plastic face shields per week at a Ford manufacturing site.

“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. “We are focusing our efforts to help increase the supply of respirators, face shields and ventilators that can help assist health care workers, first responders, critical workers as well as those who have been infected by the virus.”
“We’re exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M’s capacity and get health care supplies as quickly as possible to where they’re needed most — which includes partnering with other great companies like Ford,” said Mike Roman, 3M chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
In addition, Ford and GE Healthcare are working together to expand production of a simplified version of GE Healthcare’s existing ventilator design to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by COVID-19. These ventilators could be produced at a Ford manufacturing site in addition to a GE location.  
“We are encouraged by how quickly companies from across industries have mobilized to address the growing challenge we collectively face from COVID-19,” said GE Healthcare President and CEO Kieran Murphy.
Meanwhile, Ford’s US design team also is quickly creating and starting to test transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders.