On June 24, Wereldhave N.V. took an important step in its Dutch market and a major leap in realizing its strategy of becoming the leading specialist in mid-sized shopping centers in northwestern Continental Europe. The company announced that it has entered into a conditional agreement with Klépierre Management Nederland B.V. pursuant to which Wereldhave intends to acquire nine shopping centers in the Netherlands and a development project for the extension of one of these centers for a total consideration of €730 million, excluding transaction costs. Adding these assets to Wereldhave’s ten existing malls creates the single largest portfolio of mid-sized shopping centers in the Netherlands.
The target portfolio is being acquired at a yield of c. 6%. Wereldhave intends to finance the acquisition via an equity offering of up to 5.25 million new ordinary shares and existing debt facilities, with asset disposals targeted over the next 18 months. Completion of the Transaction is envisaged to take place before the end of 2015.
Increased portfolio size provides new opportunities
Dirk Anbeek, CEO of Wereldhave, said: “This is a unique opportunity and a transaction that definitely shapes the landscape in our sector. The acquisition immediately positions us as the leading specialist in mid-sized shopping centers in the Netherlands. We believe this is an opportune time to increase exposure to the Dutch retail market, given the improving macro fundamentals and attractive investment environment. In addition, we are convinced that we can add value to the portfolio by leveraging on our strong retail expertise and local knowledge. The performance of our own shopping center portfolio clearly shows that pro-active and hands-on leasing and shopping center management pays off. The increased size of the portfolio will enable us to leverage the excellent relations we have with our largest tenants. The presence of these retail chains in some of the new shopping centers is below the levels one could expect. On the other hand, we also will add several new large tenants to our tenant base.”
Laurent Morel, Chairman of the Executive Board at Klépierre, commented: “This transaction is a clear delivery on our asset rotation strategy post-merger with Corio and demonstrates the liquidity and value of our portfolio. It immediately refocuses Klépierre’s Dutch portfolio on two of the most dynamic cities in the Netherlands, Rotterdam and Utrecht, which will become more attractive with the ambitious re-development of Hoog Catharijne. The disposal of this portfolio releases additional financial capacity to fund future growth in our preferred regions of Continental Europe, through the development of our quality pipeline and selective opportunistic acquisitions of prime shopping destinations.”
The target portfolio
The nine operational shopping centers have an average size of 24,541 sq m of GLA and an average footfall of 4 million visitors per year. These are:
- Cityplaza I and II in Nieuwegein
- Middenwaard in Heerhugowaard
- City Center Tilburg in Tilburg
- In de Bogaard in Rijswijk
- Emiclaer in Amersfoort
- Presikhaaf in Arnheim
- Sterrenburg in Dordrecht
- Oosterheem in Zoetermeer
- Stadshagen in Zwolle