Apollo and Multi Turkmall agree landmark Istanbul retail investment of €583m (TR)

A joint venture between international property fund management group, Apollo Real Estate Advisors and Multi Turkmall Gayrimenkul Yatýrým Ýnþaat ve Ticaret A.Þ., Turkey’s leading shopping center developer, has acquired the prime development site of the Carrefour Merter Shopping Centre in Istanbul. The retail development opportunity was purchased for €258 million from Carrefour S.A. and a further €325 million has been committed to its development.

The Carrefour Merter Shopping Centre is a scheme of 156,273 m² GLA and of 333,770 m² gross buildable area which is set to become the dominant shopping center in western Istanbul. The scheme design provides for a substantial shopping center over two separate blocks. The first block will accommodate Carrefour in a hypermarket unit totalling 21,205 m², with an additional 85,496 m² of retail and leisure space provided over four floors. The second block will contain a further 33,572 m² of retail space as well as a 16,000-m² office building. The complex will include 4,000 car parking spaces.

The financing syndicate is being led by Eurohypo alongside two Turkish banks. Eurohypo is providing €232 million, with Akbank providing €150 million and Garanti Bank is providing €100 million.

The 11.5-hectare site is in an exceptional location, adjacent to the main E5 highway which links central Istanbul and the International Airport. The site has a catchment of 2.8 million people within a 25 minute radius. The Carrefour Merter Shopping Centre will also benefit from the metro station located approximately 500 meters from the site and the light rail metro network.

John Robertson, partner of Apollo Real Estate Advisors in Europe, stated: “The retail market in Turkey is very strong and is widely perceived to present a major long-term opportunity for retailers, developers and investors alike. A young, increasingly urban and lifestyle-focused population of 74 million people is becoming ever more wealthy. In addition, Turkey is expected to see the fastest population growth in Europe over the medium term. As a consequence, retail sales per capita are forecast to grow at over 5% p.a. between now and 2010, with Istanbul leading the trend. The partners are already in negotiations with a number of well known national and international retailers who are keen to establish a presence in the scheme.”

William Benjamin, Managing Director of Apollo Real Estate Advisors in Europe, said: “We are delighted to have acquired the Carrefour Merter site and to have such an experienced and dynamic partner as Multi Turkmall. The team has spent over 12 months pursuing this opportunity, which is seen as a landmark deal in the Turkish market. Strategically this is an important transaction for Apollo in Turkey, following the successful formation of the Taurus of Galata joint venture in 2007.”

Nico Veldhuis, Vice Chairman of Multi Turkmall, stated: “We are looking forward to cooperating with Carrefour and Apollo Real Estate Advisors. Being a European player we are pleased that the Carrefour Merter Shopping Centre is another addition to our outstanding expansion in the Turkish retail market where we have a portfolio of over 25 retail schemes in progress, of which three are in Istanbul.”

Levent Eyuboglu, Managing Director of Multi Turkmall, declared: “With our proven track record and vision, Multi Turkmall played a significant role in the establishment of this joint venture. Multi Turkmall has become the partner of choice for large-scale commercial projects such as these. This investment is being undertaken as a 50:50 joint venture with Apollo. We are delighted to become an investment partner and development manager of this project and to have Apollo Real Estate as a partner. The Carrefour Merter Shopping Centre was a project that the retail market in Turkey was eagerly anticipating.”

Jeremy Eddy of Jones Lang LaSalle acted for Apollo Real Estate Advisors and Multi Turkmall Gayrimenkul Yatýrým Ýnþaat ve Ticaret A.Þ., with Mike Rodda of Cushman acting for Carrefour S.A.

Source: ADC Blueprint

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