Benson Elliot extends Spanish investment programme with shopping center acquisition (ES)

Benson Elliot, the UK-based private equity real estate fund manager, announces the acquisition of the Imaginalia shopping center in Albacete, Spain from funds managed by AXA Real Estate.
Benson Elliot is planning a major capital expenditure programme to transform the 45,000 m² shopping center, tapping into increasing consumer demand as Spain accelerates its recovery from recession. Completed in 2006 by Spanish developer Procom, Imaginalia benefits from limited local competition. The center is currently 82% occupied by a mix of 33 tenants, with major tenants including Alcampo (hypermarket), Media Markt (consumer electronics), Yelmo (cinema) and Toys R Us (toys). The centre provides surface and underground parking for 2,100 cars.
Trish Barrigan, Benson Elliot Senior Partner, said: “We were an early entrant into the Spanish market, as past experience in the country gave us the confidence to anticipate a return to economic growth and a recovery of the Spanish consumer. Imaginalia already attracts nearly four million visitors each year, and we believe our plans for the center, as the Spanish recovery accelerates, will drive those numbers significantly higher. We are encouraged by the enduring commitment Imaginalia’s key tenants have shown to the center through a tough economic environment.”
“Benson Elliot has a strong in-house retail team, who will oversee the re-configuration and re-positioning of Imaginalia. We expect to make Imaginalia a more vibrant retail destination, in part by enhancing the leisure offer. Initial conversations with potential occupiers have given us confidence that there is significant demand amongst retailers to be present in a rejuvenated Imaginalia.”
International real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield acted as adviser to Axa Real Estate.
Source: FTI Consulting

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