Property groups Greenbay and Resilient intend buying two Portuguese shopping centres for €219.25m. Each will pay half for a 50% stake, they announced on Thursday.

Greenbay will fund its share by raising R650m through an accelerated bookbuild, it said in a separate statement on Thursday.

The two malls being bought are Forum Coimbra and Forum Viseu.

"Forum Coimbra, opened in April 2006, is the dominant regional mall in the Centro Region of Portugal. This 51,489m² modern, third-generation mall provides a comprehensive retail and entertainment offering over three levels, served by a structured car park. The mall has excellent transport links connecting it to both the city and the region," the statement said.

Forum Viseu opened in September 2005 with a gross lettable area of 18,705m².

Greenbay said the new shares to be issued would be offered on the JSE and Mauritian security exchange, with preference given to current investors.

Greenbay said the new shares would be credited as fully paid and be ranked on par with existing shares. Greenbay also reserved the right to increase the share issue if it needed to and the proceeds would be invested in line with company policy, with some possibly covering the acquisition.

Greenbay is a Mauritian company that specialises in global real-estate development and is listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius and the JSE.

"I don’t think it’s too much of a surprise, as the Iberian Peninsula has been displaying increasingly positive economic fundamentals over the last two years. Both Portugal and Spain have been delivering on their economic reform programmes and have seen solid growth," said Garreth Elston of Alternative Real Estate Capital Management.

 "Coimbra is the seventh-largest Portuguese city, Viseu the 15th, and both have above average income profiles for Portugal. Experience gained in these two markets will likely be beneficial to Resilient and Green Bay potentially expanding their presence into the larger Portuguese cities in time," he said.

 "Portugal’s economic data has been increasingly positive, delivering 11 successive quarters of GDP growth, unemployment has been steadily decreasing and is at a seven year low, and inflation is a manageable 1.6%.

"These indicators bode well for the Resilient and Green Bay being able to extract good ongoing growth from the centres. We view the investment into the region as being a very positive development for both companies," said Elston.

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