Henderson's HERALD beefs up European portfolio with ca. €100 million of acquisitions (FR/DE)

Henderson Global Investors, on behalf of its ca. €930 million European Retail Property Fund - HERALD - has acquired Galerie des Ailes shopping center in Le Blanc Mesnil, a suburb of Paris in France, as well as Real Hypermarket and Gallery in Dreieich, Germany. The two transactions equate to ca. €100 million.

Galerie des Ailes

Galerie des Ailes shopping center in Le Blanc Mesnil, anchored by LeClerc.

In France, the approx. 11,000-m² shopping center was acquired from joint vendors Immobiliere Frey and LeClerc, in a transaction which involved a forward commitment for the development of the center which opened on October 5 this year.

The center, which was ca. 90% let at opening, includes leading tenants, Sport Direct, Espace Culturel and La Grand Recre and is anchored by an 8,000-m² owner-occupied LeClerc. It is located close to the A1 motorway which links Paris to the Charles de Gaulle Airport, and is situated in an area which will benefit from significant investment as a result of the Greater Paris Urbanization Plan.

In Germany, the approx. 23,000-m² retail warehouse was acquired by Herald as a forward commitment with the vendor responsible for a €16-million complete refurbishment of the center, monitored by Henderson's expert in-house development team. The center, which is fully let, is anchored by Real and Decathlon.

David Turner, Fund Manager for Herald, said: "The purchase in Le Blanc Mesnil represents an excellent investment in the current market where the supply of prime shopping centers in France is extremely tight.

"The asset has had a very positive opening and is well placed to trade successfully notwithstanding the more challenging economic conditions in the short term. The acquisition finalizes the Fund's strategy to increase its weighting to France, where the outlook for returns still looks attractive.

"The purchase at Dreieich was agreed as a forward commitment over 12 months ago and we are extremely pleased with the way the market has moved in its favor, over the intervening period. The property provides the Fund with long-term, secure income and a high distribution yield boosted by the attractive finance terms available in Germany for this type of asset.

"The Fund's ability to undertake forward commitments allows us to consider a much wider range of investment opportunities which is extremely beneficial in a market with such a tight supply of good quality stock."

Henderson was advised by Jones Lang LaSalle in France and WilmerHale in Germany.

Source: Henderson Global Investors

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