JSE-listed Echo Polska Properties buying four shopping centres in Poland
Echo Polska Properties is buying four malls in Poland in a R2.4bn deal using funds managed by the Blackstone investment group
JSE-listed Echo Polska Properties (EPP) is set to acquire four retail assets across Poland from real estate funds managed by the Blackstone investment group in a deal worth €166.6m (R2.4bn).
The acquisition includes the 23,039m² Galeria Twierdza shopping centre in Klodzko, as well as an adjacent plot with a Broaster Chicken drive-in restaurant. The other three malls are Galeria Twierdza in Zamosc, which is 23,785m² in size, Galeria Tecza in Kalisz, which is 16,003m² and Wzorcownia in Wloclawek, which is 25,629m².
The Wzorcownia and Twierdza Klodzko have been operational since 2009, and Twierdza Zamosc and Galeria Tecza since 2001, and boast a diverse tenant mix with anchor tenants across the four assets including LLP Group, H&M, Rossman, Carrefour and Cinema 3D.
To secure the malls, EPP will acquire 100% of the equity in Klodzko Retail, Zamosc Retail, Kalisz Retail and Wloclawek Retail.
"These shopping centres are dominant within their catchment area and represent a strategic fit in our retail long-term ownership. Twierdza Klodzko and Wzorcownia are the only large modern retail properties in their respective cities. EPP is fortunate to already own a portfolio of strong retail and office properties across Poland and the acquisition of these four shopping centres in regional cities is a part of our ongoing strategy to build the company into a ‘national champion’ while delivering double-digit growth in dividend per share per annum," said EPP CEO Hadley Dean.
The four shopping centres have been managed by Multi Poland since 2014. Multi Poland is part of Multi Corporation, owner, manager and developer of shopping centres in Europe and Turkey. The purchase transaction is expected to be completed in April this year.
EPP listed on the JSE about four months ago and owns more than €1.2bn worth of assets in Poland, where it was created. More than 10 of the 40-plus listed South African property groups have invested offshore to diversify risk. Eastern and Central Europe have become popular investment destinations with South Africans buying real estate in Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania and Austria.