Alexander Otto, CEO of ECE, Europe's market leader in shopping center business, expands his activities to the US and will work closely with the American market leader Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) in the future.
For this purpose, he will increase his investment in the New York Stock Exchange listed US-REIT considerably to more than 20%. He will therefore be engaged in companies which manage and own more than 800 shopping centers worldwide.
DDR will sell up to 30 million new common shares at a total price of $112,5 million (€88 mln.) to Otto in April, provided that the company obtains the requisite shareholder approval. Otto had already purchased around 6 million common shares before.
DDR (www.ddr.com) is the leading shopping center company in the US. DDR develops and manages retail operating properties in 45 states of the US, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Canada. The 710 properties comprise a total of 14.6 million square meters.
Alexander Otto: "I am delighted that we win a highly competent partner on the world's largest retail market. We were therefore able to capture the chance to further advance our global expansion in a demanding market environment. From our shareholding I expect a considerable exchange of know how. We have already worked together very good with this competent team of DDR and now we would be pleased to extend this cooperation."
Scott Wolstein, CEO of DDR: "We believe that we have found the ideal partner with ECE. Not only does the transaction offer the unique opportunity for us to profit from the common knowledge, but also to reduce leverage and improve liquidity."
Otto received a BA and MBA from Harvard University, worked in New York City and has been responsible for the North American real estate business of his family for many years. This includes the Paramount Group with high-rise buildings in New York City and Washington DC, as well as the Sagitta Group with apartment buildings and industrial parks in Greater Toronto.
Otto has been CEO of ECE since 2000. The company is the European market leader in the field of inner-city shopping centers. In currently 111 shopping centers 11,700 retailers generate an annual turnover of 13.1 billion Euros on a total sales area of 3.4 million m². ECE is currently active in 15 Central and Eastern European countries and manages a project volume of 17 billion Euros.
The ECE Group has a share in numerous shopping centers of their management portfolio. Alexander Otto also holds a significant share of the German MDAX-Company Deutsche EuroShop AG, which is also active in retail real estate.