Klépierre and Plaza Centers (Europe) BV announced on May 22, 2005 that they had agreed to the acquisition by Klépierre of four shopping centers in operation in Poland, and of four shopping center projects, two in Poland and two in the Czech Republic, as well as an option on another shopping center project in Poland.
The agreement between the two parties also calls for the acquisition by Klépierre subsidiary Ségécé of full ownership of the Plaza Centers subsidiary that manages the Polish shopping centers. Pending the required regulatory approvals, the agreement should be finalized by the end of July 2005, after all customary due diligence has been completed and after the transaction has been submitted to the approval of the Plaza Centers board of directors and the Klépierre supervisory board.
Klépierrre's total investment is approximately 425 million, of which 205 million for the four Polish shopping centers already in operation. Located in Warsaw, Krakow, Poznan and Ruda, the four centers offer total usable commercial retail floor area of 98,240 m² and generate annual rents of around 19 million. The estimated investment on the centers being developed in Poland (Rybnik, Sosnowiec and Lublin) is 133 million, while the estimated investment in the Czech Republic (Prague and Plzen) is 87 million, for a total of 102,868 m² of usable retail commercial floor area in the two countries.
All of these acquisitions are subject to the condition precedent that the necessary building and operating permits be granted. Under the terms of the agreement, Klépierre will pay for the centers when they are open for business, the transaction being covered by a bank guarantee from Klépierre to Plaza Centers upon signature of the definitive agreement.
In addition to this transaction, Ségécé will acquire the remaining 50% equity interest in the Plaza Centers Hungarian management business it does not already own, having acquired a 50% stake in July 2004 when 12 Plaza Centers shopping centers were acquired. At this time, Klépierre will early release Plaza Centers from the bank guarantee consented on certain incidental revenue in connection with this acquisition.
Both parties to the agreement are satisfied with the outcome of these negotiations, which, after those concluded in May 2004 strengthen their partnership in Central Europe.
Commenting on the announcement, Klépierre Executive Board Vice Chairman Eric Ranjard stated: "This is an excellent deal for Klépierre, and fully aligned with our development strategy in the Eastern European Union. By acquiring a portfolio of prime quality, recent shopping centers, Klépierre reaches critical mass in Poland, Central Europe's largest market, where many international retail anchors are already operating. It also enhances our position in the Czech Republic."