AM NV is acquiring the interest in Retail Development Company A.S. (RDC), a joint venture in the Czech Republic, held by Ahold Real Estate Czech Republic B.V., a subsidiary of Royal Ahold N.V. AM acquired its existing 50% interest in RDC , which has retail property development projects in progress in Plzen, Olomouc, Prague-Haje and Prague-Modrany, in 2002, with an option on the remaining 50%. In view of the positive development of the Czech market, AM has now decided to exercise that option.
With the Czech economy growing vigorously and strong pent-up demand for modern shopping centres, both local and international retail formats are looking for good sites in Czech cities. AM currently has more than 150,000 m² of retail space under development in the Czech Republic, spread over several locations. In Plzen, the first phase of the Olympia Plzen shopping centre, comprising around 33,000 m² of retail space and including an Ahold hypermarket (trading in the Czech Republic as Hypernova), will open on 24 March. The Olympia Olomouc shopping centre, comprising around 31,000 m² of retail space and also including a Hypernova hypermarket, will open in the second half of this year. The RDC joint venture has shopping centres in preparation in Prague-Haje and Prague-Modrany.
In partnership with Rodamco Europe, AM is developing the Chodov supermarket in Prague. Work on the first phase of this project, comprising around 58,000 m² of retail space, including a Hypernova hypermarket, will start this year. A further 30,000 m² of retail space and other facilities are envisaged in the second phase.
Growth in European shopping centre development
This acquisition is consistent with AM’s strategy for further growth in shopping centre development, with the emphasis on Southern and Central Europe. AM is currently active in shopping centre and city centre development projects, including leisure facilities, in ten European countries. AM will continue RDC’s activities as AM Development, the name under which it operates outside the Netherlands.
RDC, with a staff of 22, is one of the largest shopping centre, hypermarket and supermarket developers in the Czech Republic. RDC has so far developed three shopping centres there, all sharing the name ‘Olympia’, in Brno (52,000 m²), Teplice (30,000 m²) and Mlada Boleslav (26,000 m²).
Source: AM NV