IMMOEAST Immobilien Anlagen AG closed the last remaining gap in its real estate portfolio in the EU countries in Central Europe, making the first investments in Slovenia. In September 2006 two discount shopping centres were taken over from Raiffeisen Leasing GmbH in the cities of Kranj between Ljubljana and the Austrian border and Nove Mesto in the southeast.
Both discount shopping centres are fully let, for the most part to international retail chains including the DM drugstore chain, Jello, Sport 2000 and Spar. There are also well-established Slovenian chains such as Big Bank (electronics) and DIPO (furniture). Both centres are distinguished by their central location in their respective cities, are well-connected in terms of transportation and have a high number of visitors due to an attractive mix of tenants.
The amount of space let at the discount shopping centre in Kranj is 13,100 m². There are 300 parking spaces in addition to this. The discount shopping centre in Nove Mesto is somewhat smaller with 5,900 m² and 190 parking spaces. Altogether, IMMOEAST is investing 22.5 million Euro in the acquisition.
"Slovenia is the smallest of the CEE markets and was therefore not our top priority," says IMMOEAST Chairman Karl Petrikovics. "Its excellent economic situation, however, makes the country extremely attractive for us." The high degree of purchasing power and added economic boost anticipated with the Euro's introduction in the beginning of 2007 provide the best conditions for investments in retail.
For IMMOEAST the two discount shopping centres are also the first investments in one of former Yugoslavia's successor republics, where the company is currently only indirectly represented through shareholdings. However, Petrikovics has announced stronger involvement in the region. "The political circumstances have been largely clarified, economic prospects are extremely positive, therefore the conditions for a security-oriented investor such as IMMOEAST are present."