Henderson Global Investors has purchased the Castel Romano designer outlet in Italy for its European Outlet Mall Fund from McArthurGlen and its partners for a price of €131 million.
The move will increase the value of the Funds assets under management to over half a billion euros and is designed to further strengthen an investment fund which has delivered an annual return significantly in excess of original expectations since the Fund
was launched on 18 February 2004.
Aimed at institutional investors, the European Outlet Mall Fund is the only one of its kind in Europe and was established to invest in market leading, regionally dominant outlet centers across the Eurozone. It was originally launched with the acquisition of five schemes developed by McArthurGlen in France (2), the Netherlands, Austria and Italy.
Castel Romano near Rome home to retailers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Etro and Roberto Cavalli - had only recently opened when the Fund was created and its successful performance made it a logical acquisition for the Fund.
Henderson and McArthurGlen expect to expand the Fund further through the acquisition of additional phases of existing outlets, centers which have yet to be opened and, possibly, outlets currently owned by other developers.
Principal investors in the Fund are Mn Services NV (on behalf of two clients, Pensioenfonds Metaal en Techniek and Pensioenfonds TNO), Storebrand, Allianz, Sparkassenversicherung Baden-Wuerttemberg AG and Tamweelview S.A. Henderson and J.W Kaempfer and his McArthurGlen partners retain a major investment in the Fund
which recently completed its second closing raising a total of 216 million from both existing and new investors.
Darius Divwalla from Henderson Global Investors, said: "Castel Romano is a first class addition to the European Outlet Mall Fund. It meets our key investment criteria, being a regionally dominant, class leading scheme which promises to offer several opportunities
to enhance value over time; it has first mover advantage and has been able to establish itself as one of the key retail destinations in Rome.
"The scale, geographical diversity and sector specialist nature of this Fund was always the initial attraction to investors, but now we have a solid track record of strong returns and the option of adding more McArthurGlen outlets to it.
"Over our first full year we outperformed investors initial expectations and that is expected to continue this year. It is not surprising that we have interest from the investors wishing to expand their stake as it grows.
"There are still exciting prospects for the future. McArthurGlen is the acknowledged industry leader and has plans for new developments and additional phases at existing centers all with the potential to be included in the Fund."
McArthurGlen Chairman JW Kaempfer, said: "There were high expectations when this Fund was launched, but with nothing to benchmark it against, Henderson had to have confidence in the quality of the retail centres included in the Fund.
"That confidence has clearly paid off and the logical next step is to now include Castel Romano. McArthurGlen is continuing to develop across Europe and there will undoubtedly be further opportunities to include additional phases of existing centers or brand new outlets when they have established themselves."