GE Real Estate Central and Eastern Europe and a group of investors led and advised by Quinlan Private, have announced that they have signed a contract to acquire the Mall of Plovdiv shopping center in Bulgaria from developers Ocif and CCI.
Mall of Plovdiv
Located in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city, the shopping center is currently under construction with completion scheduled for Q4 2008. The center consists of 22,326 m² of letting space and the tenant portfolio already comprises a diverse range of international retailers and operators. These include a 2,468 m² supermarket which has been let to Piccadilly, a 1,550 m² electronics store let to Technomarket and a 3,056 m² 10-screen cinema, let to Cinema City. The center also houses a 15,251 m², three-level retail gallery. 51% of the gallery has been pre-let to major international and national tenants with an additional 29% currently in advanced negotiations.
GE Real Estate and Quinlan Private have agreed to acquire an initial 50% interest in the center, with the remaining 50% to be paid upon completion. The acquisition of Plovdiv follows the acquisition of the Mall of Sofia by GE Real Estate and Quinlan Private in 2006 which is now the strongest performing shopping mall in Bulgaria. These acquisitions demonstrate the strength of the GE Real Estate and Quinlan Private partnership and their ability to identify quality assets in growing economies.
Karim Habra, Managing Director of GE Real Estate Central and Eastern Europe, commented, "We are very pleased to be working with both Quinlan Private and Ocif and CCI on our second transaction. The retail market of Plovdiv is undersupplied with modern retail facilities and presents an ideal opportunity for GE Real Estate to grow its presence in Bulgaria and build on the success of our Mall of Sofia joint-venture.
"Retail investment has been one of GE Real Estate's cornerstones of growth in Central and Eastern Europe and we firmly believe that this sector of the market offers us a strong opportunity for growth in Bulgaria following our successful investment track record in Poland and the Czech Republic."
Mr Peter Donnelly, Partner Central & Eastern Europe, Quinlan Private, commented, "We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Mall of Plovdiv in Bulgaria. We regard retail in a rapidly growing economy such as Bulgaria as a compelling investment opportunity. We expect this asset to be a direct beneficiary of EU accession, continuing foreign direct investment and accelerating structural fund spend. Our objective is to continue to identify and acquire similarly attractive assets for our investor group."
Source: GE Real Estate