Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has advised Migros-Pensionskasse (MPK), the pension fund of Switzerland’s largest retailer, Migros, on the transfer of its Swiss real estate portfolio into Anlagestiftung der Migros-Pensionskasse Immobilien, a newly established investment foundation regulated by the Swiss regulatory body for pension schemes, OAK BV.
The transferred real estate portfolio consists of more than 500 properties located in 17 regions throughout Switzerland. The market value of the portfolio amounts to more than CHF 5.1 billion.
MPK's news comes as pension funds Pensionskasse Denner and VORSORGE in globo M, two other Migros group pension schemes, also transferred their Swiss real estate portfolios into Anlagestiftung der Migros-Pensionskasse Immobilien. The combined value of these transferred properties amounts to more than CHF 175 million.
With this restructuring, MPK and the other pension schemes aim to increase flexibility, diversification and cost transparency.
This restructuring took more than three years to achieve, primarily because of Switzerland’s complicated federal tax landscape. Tax authorities in all relevant regions had to be convinced that the reorganization of the MPK real estate portfolio qualifies as a tax neutral restructuring, which won't trigger any real estate capital gain taxes, corporate income taxes, and transfer taxes.
Baker McKenzie acted as legal and tax counsel to MPK. Team members included Martin Furrer and Alexander Wyss (lead), Mario Kumschick and Susanne Liebel-Kotz (tax) as well as Alexander Seiler and Marianne Müller (legal).