These retail park assets were originally developed or acquired on behalf of the FRI and FRI 2 funds and this sale marks the successful completion of Mitiska REIM’s development and initial value-creation programs for these assets.
The new First Retail Partners fund has a gross asset value of around 280 million Euro and will be managed by Mitiska REIM and backed by Partners Group.
The five Belgian retail parks are recent development projects undertaken by Mitiska REIM and represent a total gross leasable area (GLA) of 77,500 sq m. The portfolio includes the retail park Malinas in Mechelen which when opened became the most sustainable retail park in Belgium, in addition to Ninouter in Ninove, Parc de l’Europe in Wavre, La Couvinoise in Couvin, and Quartier Enée in Gembloux.
The five Portuguese retail parks represent a GLA of 105,500 sq m and were acquired between 2017 and 2019. Located in the Portuguese cities of Villa Nova de Gaia, Aveiro, Coimbra, Santarem and Alverca, these assets were actively managed by Mitiska REIM’s local team to unlock considerable value.
The retail parks are food-anchored by major supermarkets such as Lidl, Albert Heijn, Delhaize, Mercadona, Auchan or Pingo Doce, and have a strong and diversified tenant mix of national and international retail brands. In terms of sustainability, all have been awarded BREEAM certifications ranging from “Good” to “Excellent”.
Jan Du Bois, Mitiska REIM’s Managing Director for Belgium, Spain and Portugal, comments: “We are delighted to complete the sale of these Belgian and Portuguese portfolios and to spearhead the active asset management to ensure the ongoing success of these assets. These portfolios are proof of the effectiveness of our value-add programs in Portugal and our track record in delivering successful new development projects in Belgium.”
Axel Despriet, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Mitiska REIM, adds: “This latest transaction follows the recent sale by Mitiska REIM of 25 retail parks in Romania, and completes around €500 million of divestments by Mitiska REIM in December alone, which is testament to the resilience of the asset class despite the wider economic environment, and the quality of the portfolios. The sale of the Belgian and Romanian portfolios marks the successful realization of all assets in the FRI fund, the first fund raised and advised by Mitiska REIM since 2012, delivering returns to investors at the high end of expectations.”
Sylvie Geuten-Carpentier, Managing Partner of Mitiska REIM, said: “We are delighted to form this strategic partnership with Partners Group and become the fund manager of the new First Retail Partners fund. Mitiska REIM remains committed to both the Belgian and Portuguese markets and we continue to see a strong pipeline of additional convenience real estate opportunities in both Belgium and Portugal, spanning retail parks, multi-let light industrial, self storage and urban logistics opportunities.”
Kepler Corporate Finance, Belfius and CBRE acted as financial advisors on the transaction. Allen & Overy Brussels and RRP Advogados Lisbon were the legal advisors to FRI and FRI 2, and Argo Law and PwC were legal and tax advisors to the new First Retail Partners fund.