JER Partners ("JER") has acquired an Italian portfolio of five retail showrooms from Mete SpA (Mete), Italy's fifth largest household furniture retailer for 39 million in a sale-leaseback transaction for 12 years.
The portfolio, which is located throughout Italy, comprises approximately 30,000 m² of mainly retail space. JER has also agreed in principle to acquire further retail assets, including broader retail schemes, currently controlled by Mete.
Malcolm Le May, President, JER Europe commented: "The immaturity of the retail warehousing market in Italy means that portfolio transactions are rare and much sought after. We are therefore delighted to have the opportunity to work with Mete and to leverage on its capacity to originate such opportunities."
Bill Hancock, Director, JER Europe stated: "JER has specifically targeted the Italian retail market for some time and is pleased to have been able to secure this excellent opportunity which will allow us to further develop this platform in the future."
Vittorio Bozzolini, Managing Director of Mete, said: "Mete's agreement with JER will allow us to continue to exploit our capabilities in the real estate sector together with JER whilst releasing capital to our core furniture retailing business".
Mete typically sources well-located, industrial type assets that are coming out of distressed situations, then applies for a change of zoning use to retail and refurbishes the assets. The properties are available to buy once permission to change the zoning has been granted.
The acquisition was financed by Unicredit Banca d'Impresa.
JER was assisted in technical aspects by Abaco Consulting and by Gianni, Origoni, Grippo and Partners as legal counsel.