A consortium comprising GE Real Estate and Quinlan Private has agreed to acquire the remaining 50% stake in the Mall of Sofia upon completion of the scheme, from AVIV, an Israeli property development company, and CCI, an Israel-based cinema operator.
The consortium originally acquired a 50% share in the center for approx. €37 million in August 2005. The value of the Mall of Sofia on completion is expected to be in the region of €90 million.
The Mall of Sofia, located in the heart of the Bulgarian Capital, is the first high-quality modern mixed-use scheme to be developed in the center of Sofia and will total 33,500 m² on its opening, which is currently anticipated to take place in June 2006. The building will comprise a two level shopping center (15,520 m²), a 12-screen cinema (4,300 m²), a supermarket (3,900 m²) and a five-story office building (9,790 m²). Construction on the retail element began in July 2004 and is already fully let to an impressive list of tenants including Picadilly, the supermarket anchor tenant, Mango, Esprit and Benetton, the fashion retailers, and Cinema City.
Karim Habra, Managing Director of GE Real Estate Central Europe, commented: "The development of the Mall of Sofia is now almost complete and we are extremely pleased to have been able to acquire the remaining 50% stake. We look forward to working with our consortium partner, Quinlan Private, to ensure that this prime, flagship scheme, becomes quickly established as the destination of choice in the city.
"The purchase of this remaining stake clearly demonstrates our intention to increase our presence in Bulgaria, where we believe there are strong prospects for growth particularly in the retail sector."
Source: GE Real Estate