Henderson's Herald Fund enters Spain (ES/UK)

Henderson Global Investors has acquired a 50% controlling stake in Parque Miramar, a shopping center and retail warehouse park in southern Spain, with a combined asset value in the region of €200 million.

The acquisition marks Herald's entry into the Spanish retail market and brings the total amount of funds committed by the Henderson European Retail Property Fund, to circa €480 million since its first closing in March this year.

The stake was sold by Eroski, one of Spain's largest hypermarket operator and shopping center developers, who will continue to own and be the main anchor within the circa 25,000 m² shopping center. Other tenants at Parque Miramar, which opened about two years ago, include a number of the Inditex brands, C&A, Springfield, Mango, well as a 12-screen cinema operated by CineSur. The center is adjacent to a circa 25,000-m² retail park which opened at the end of 2005 and which also forms part of the sale. Its tenants include Forum, Boulanger, Aki and Kiabi.

The remaining 50% interest is retained by Miguel & Rodriguez SL, a prominent retail, residential and hotel developer in southern Spain.

Commenting on the sale, Eduardo Noguera, Portfolio Manager at Henderson's European Retail team, said: "These are great schemes with significant investment potential which we will help asset manage on an ongoing basis. Aside from the quality of the asset, we are delighted with our new partners. Eroski has an outstanding track record both as a hypermarket operator and shopping centre developer, and Miguel & Rodriguez's reputation is in the area is first class. We are convinced that the combination of our partners' local knowledge and Henderson's investment and management expertise will bring considerable benefits to all parties, maximising both assets' capital and income growth potential."

Commenting on Herald's entry into the Spanish retail market, Neil Varnham, Director of Property, Retail (Europe), said: "Henderson is a global brand which has built up its European business by identifying and establishing excellent working partnerships with local teams with expert local knowledge. This deal mirrors this very successful model."
"Henderson research forecast retail to outperform offices in terms of rental growth over the coming five years. Total return prospects are also expected to be superior for retail. Henderson forecast Spain to be one of the best performing retail markets over the coming five years, supported by a very healthy consumer economy. Indeed, the Spanish retail market is expected to be one of the best performing parts of the European property market over the medium term. On this basis we felt the time was right to enter the Spanish market."

Henderson's HERALD Fund was launched in December 2005 to acquire retail warehouses, shopping centres and city centre retail investments that offer asset management, refurbishment or development opportunities. The fund, which closed in March at over €400 million equity, has an investment focus on Eurozone countries, particularly Spain, Italy, France and Germany.

Henderson was advised by Cushman & Wakefield.

Source: Henderson

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