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OUR HISTORY

With its prestigious portfolio, Gecina has inherited part of the architectural and urban history of Paris. The Group has successfully respected this heritage, but also developed it, bringing it into the modern age.

AU CŒUR DU PATRIMOINE, L’ÉPOQUE HAUSSMANNIENNE
 

Structurante pour l’urbanisme parisien, l’aventure haussmannienne est indissociable de la naissance des premières sociétés immobilières. Parmi elle, La Fourmi Immobilière, qui incarne l’archétype de la gestion de « bon père de famille » : pas de rotation d’actifs, peu de travaux, des loyers stables. La Fourmi immobilière fait partie de ces sociétés historiques qui seront, au fil du temps, absorbées de façon plus ou moins directe par Gecina et participeront à sa construction. Aujourd’hui, la foncière conserve dans son patrimoine quelques immeubles emblématiques de cette période notamment boulevard Haussmann (Paris 9e).

ANNÉES 50 ET 60 : L’ÉCLOSION DES SOCIÉTÉS IMMOBILIÈRES D’INVESTISSEMENT
 

L’État recherche des fonds privés pour participer à l’effort de reconstruction de l’après-guerre et du baby-boom : les acteurs se multiplient grâce au nouveau statut SII. Une vingtaine de sociétés sont créées : par exemple, Simnor en 1958, GFC, UIF, CLI, Cofimeg et Simco en 1959, Foncina en 1960, Imminvest et Ugimo en 1963, Sefimeg en 1965 et Ufimeg en 1969. En janvier 1959 naît Gecina, sous l’appellation Groupement pour le Financement de la Construction (GFC), drainant les fonds d’une soixantaine de compagnies d’assurance. Plus de 80% des SII de l’époque seront progressivement absorbées pour former le Groupe actuel. Tous ces acteurs suivent la même ligne de conduite : la gestion “en bon père de famille“ d’un patrimoine d’habitation.

FROM THE LATE 1970S TO THE 90S: TIME FOR THE FIRST BUSINESS COMBINATIONS

This period saw the first wave of consolidation among real estate firms, these “sleeping beauties”. The “sister” companies, sharing common shareholders, started to group together. Why? They were looking for “critical mass” in order to achieve economies of scale on their fixed, operating and management costs. In this way, Sefimeg took over Ufimeg in 1981, then Cofimeg in 1990 and La Fourmi Immobilière in 1996. UIF and Ugimo combined in 1985. Sagimo was merged with Simco in 1977, followed by UPH in 1984, Immindo in 1988, Cogifi in 1992 and CIPM in 1997. AGF consolidated its main real estate companies in two phases. In 1989, it merged the firms CLI, Simnor and Imminvest under the name of GFII. Two years later, GFII was merged with GFC. In 1990, there were only 12 real estate companies left in the SII federation.

EMERGENCE OF A MAJOR REAL ESTATE GROUP

The real estate crisis in the early 1990s and the introduction of new real estate management methods contributed towards a second “big bang” moment for the industry. GFC took over Foncina in 1997, then Foncière Vendôme and UIF the following year. On December 18, 1998, GFC changed its name to Gecina, shortening the names of the two companies GFC and Foncina, highlighting the new group’s scale. In 1999, Sefimeg and then Immobilière Batibail were merged with Gecina, establishing it as a leading real estate group. Its portfolio represented almost 4.1 billion euros, with 64% residential properties. In 2003, the introduction of a new tax status - SIIC listed real estate investment trusts - with an exemption from corporate income tax, based on 85% distribution conditions - successfully kick-started inflows of financial capital again. With no constraints to invest in a particular sector, this enables the commercial sector to develop at a sustained rate, without the residential sector being left behind. With the acquisition of Simco in 2003, Gecina changed scale again and became France's leading real estate group. Two years later, AGF and Azur-GMF, Gecina's historical shareholders, sold their interests to Metrovacesa. This capital operation leads to the creation of one of Europe's largest real estate firms.

MARKET LEADER FOR OFFICE REAL ESTATE IN FRANCE

 
In 2013, Metrovacesa announced its plans to sell off its Gecina securities. In 2014, our shareholding structure was fully renewed, following the sale of Metrovacesa’s interest, the arrival of Ivanhoé Cambridge, Blackstone and Norges Bank in Gecina’s capital, as well as the increase in the stake held by Crédit Agricole Assurances, our longstanding shareholder.
 
Our new shareholders share a clear strategic ambition with us, focused on the long-term, combining the drive to establish sustainable value creation dynamics with respect for the company’s human values and its strong CSR commitments.
 
Gecina is confirming its ambition to further strengthen its leading position on the Paris office market. Indeed, the Paris Region is still buoyant, as Europe’s number one market and one of the global leaders for commercial property. Its outlook is promising over the medium and long term, thanks in particular to the opportunities opening up with the Greater Paris project.