US investors GE Capital Real Estate and Heitman Central Europe Property Partners have agreed to buy 13 shopping malls in Poland for a total of EUR 200 mln. The French-owned GÃ©ant hypermarkets are the anchor tenant in all 13 malls.
The consortium will acquire 11 shopping malls from Domy Towarowe Casino, the Polish property arm of the Casino Group, and two other malls in Warsaw and Wroclaw owned by Apsys and its partner FonciÃ¨re Euris.
The Heitman Central European Property Partnership is a $525 million Luxembourg-registered vehicle, set up to target properties in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. So far it has made seven purchases worth more than $400 million in the region including 500,000 sf of offices at the BB Centrum office park in Prague; 232,416 sf of offices at Wisniowy Business Park in Warsaw, Poland; two warehouse buildings totalling 341,000 sf at the Diamond Business Park in Warsaw and a 219,500-sf office development scheme at Charles Square in the centre of Prague. GE Capital Real Estate now has more than ?660 million ($640 million) invested in the region.
The GE/Heitman consortium plans to build on its new relationship with Casino, providing capital for Casinoâ€™s expansion plans in Poland which including the redevelopment and extension of some of its existing mid-sized retail outlets.
Kendall Young, Managing Director of GE Capital Real Estate, Central Europe and Germany, said: â€œThe acquisition of this portfolio of retail malls is an important step forward for GE in Poland, a region we believe to hold significant potential.'