The latest state of affairs makes it safe to assume that Galeria Kaufhof GmbH will terminate the lease agreement for the Kaufhof branch in Bremen prematurely during the second half of this year while observing the notice period. The three properties at issue, held in the Commercial Portfolio, currently account for about 1.5% of the fair market value of the entire real estate portfolio under the management of DIC Asset AG, which equals EUR 8.4 billion.
The average lease terms for the Chemnitz and Leverkusen assets were extended to more than 13 years, subject to new contractual terms. DIC Asset AG has spent the past weeks in close communication with the Galeria Kaufhof chain of department stores, which has been working on a comprehensive restructuring plan since April 2020 within the framework of protective shield proceedings under its own administration. In an interim account of its restructuring planning progress, Galeria Kaufhof had previously cast doubt on the survival of all three locations.
Yet the continued operation of the two branches in Chemnitz and Leverkusen has now been secured. This will save quite a number of jobs in the Chemnitz and Leverkusen branches, while also preserving the positive contribution of the sites to the retail line-up and the attractiveness of the town centre in either city.
As far as the Bremen asset goes, DIC Asset AG is already in the planning stage for follow-up use concepts. Also, talks with possible new tenants as well as existing subtenants concerning the renewal of their tenancies are conducted. The most prominent subtenants currently occupy about 11,000 sqm or roughly 40% of the gross lettable area, and include outlets of the Saturn consumer electronics retailer and of the EDEKA grocery chain.
“We are convinced that the agreements now reached for the Chemnitz and Leverkusen branches have stabilised the rent cash flows long-term on a sustainable level. Moreover, our efforts seriously helped to ensure that these central high-street pitches remain vibrant and attractive in future. We put a premium on maintaining a continuous and solution-driven dialogue between landlord and tenant, an approach that has proven effective for all stakeholders once again, even and especially in face of the present challenges. On top of that, we started to study all conceivable scenarios early on. Our great wealth of experience and superior track record, even and especially when it comes to developing and repositioning properties, makes us confident of our ability to work out a viable and successful new use concept for the Bremen asset,” said Sonja Wärntges, CEO of
DIC Asset AG, as she commented the agreement reached.
With a view to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the possible ramifications for the expected rent revenues and for the income from management fees, DIC Asset AG lost no time factoring the possible development of recent weeks into its adjusted forecast for the 2020 financial year, which it published in early April, and confirmed in its entirety on July 3, 2020.