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AIMCo, Portus Retail, Equilis and TPF announce acquisition of Docks Bruxsel

The acquisition of Brussels’ newest urban shopping centre, Docks Bruxsel, has been announced by retail property specialist, Portus Retail, and its investment partner, the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), on behalf of certain of its clients.

The sale represents a unique opportunity for the incoming owners to enhance an already contemporary scheme to perfectly meet the multi-channel shopping needs of today’s consumer.

Portus Retail and AIMCo intend to build on the success of Docks Bruxsel’s unique shopping ‘district’ positioning. Portus Retail will act as Asset Manager to implement the strategic marketing programme and a proactive leasing campaign. The vision involves refreshing and strengthening the tenant mix and investment in the customer experience to develop a long-term, sustainable retail business.

Docks Bruxsel was developed by Equilis and TPF and opened in 2016. It is the first new shopping centre in Brussels for over 30 years and provides an entirely modern retail format designed to suit Brussels’ international and cosmopolitan population. Docks Bruxsel appeals to the modern consumer, offering fashion and lifestyle retailers, impressive leisure attractions, event space and a strong food and beverage offer, all fronted by stunning, contemporary architecture. Docks Bruxsel was awarded the best new large shopping centre development in 2018 by ICSC Europe.

Peter Todd, Founder of Portus Retail commented, “This is a really exciting opportunity for Portus Retail. Docks Bruxsel is a genuinely unique shopping destination, which already provides a relevant and fresh retail offering to Brussels and the surrounding areas. Our intention is to enhance this by creating memorable experiences for visitors and building on the existing mix of retailers, introducing attractive new brands to the scheme.”

Micheal Dal Bello, Senior Vice President Real Estate at AIMCo, added, “AIMCo’s investment in Docks Bruxsel builds on the strong relationship we have developed with Portus Retail and adds an exceptional asset to our growing European portfolio.”

Carl Mestdagh, Executive Chairman of Equilis Europe said, “Equilis is delighted with this transaction, which is part of the company’s development strategy in Europe. As a real estate developer, Equilis always intended to enhance the value of Docks Bruxsel and this is why we are pleased to sell to an investor with a long-term vision for this new and iconic scheme.”

Docks Bruxsel is home to a diverse range of fashion and lifestyle brands including Zara, H&M, Michael Kors, Guess, Pandora, Guess, Levis, MAC, Mango, Samsung, Superdry, Swarovski, and many more.

Portus Retail and AIMCo were advised on the transaction by Clifford Chance and CBRE; Equilis was advised by Linklaters, JLL and Cushman & Wakefield. The transaction was financed by ING.

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