Together with Real focus on sustainable development enhancing the appeal of the retail stores, the real estate subsidiary of METRO GROUP, METRO PROPERTIES, has divested majority shareholdings in 10 Real hypermarkets to Berlin-based Carlton Investment as part of a joint venture. Carlton Investment is a joint enterprise between Hildesheim-based company group Lüder and Berlin-based Jan Wehle. METRO PROPERTIES retains an interest in the portfolio with a 40% shareholding. The objective pursued by the joint venture partners is to sustainably boost and enhance the attractiveness and footfall of the retail stores that are of strategic importance to Real through the gradual renovation and development of the properties.
The real estate properties are bundled in the so called “Socrates portfolio,” which METRO PROPERTIES had reacquired from the DELEK Group in 2014 to systematically optimise and strategically secure Real’s store portfolio. “When we addressed the projected resale more closely after reacquiring the properties, we soon realised just how much potential the individual stores offered for increasing attractiveness and value,” Jürgen Schwarze, CFO at METRO PROPERTIES, explains. “To achieve optimum leverage of this potential, apart from solid financing, an experienced project developer was also required who contributes the specialised competence and drive to reposition large-area retail real estate. We found the ideal partner for this in Carlton Investment.”
Under the chosen transaction structure, the properties were transferred into a holding company, in which METRO PROPERTIES holds a 40% stake and Carlton Investment holds 60% through a property management company. Specifically, the Real hypermarkets that form a part of the transaction are Bremerhaven-Pferdebade, Castrop-Rauxel, Gross-Gerau, Darmstadt, Freiburg (Gundelfinger Strasse), Heidenau, Würzburg (Nürnberger Strasse), Wetzlar, Raunheim and Wiesbaden (Mainzer Strasse). All stores were secured for Real through long-term rental agreements.
Source: Metro Properties