The real estate entity of METRO GROUP, Metro Properties, will contribute its retail park operations to a joint venture with the shopping center developer and operator ECE effective from October 1, 2011.
The two partners will each hold a 50% share in the future company 'MEC METRO-ECE Centermanagement GmbH & Co. KG' (MEC) with registered office in Düsseldorf. In future, MEC is to take over the management including operation, leasing and marketing of 38 retail parks in Germany.
"We are teaming up with ECE and opening up new perspectives for our Center Management function. The business with retail parks remains an important pillar of our overall portfolio and is to be developed further also in future," said Thomas Ziegler, Managing Director of Metro Properties.
ECE CEO Alexander Otto: "We are convinced that the successful asset management operations of Metro Properties in conjunction with the expertise of ECE in the fields of center management, marketing and leasing represents a combination with a promising future.
"In terms of perspective, the new company can look forward to many opportunities for taking over further center management duties and refurbishment projects."
Metro Properties is contributing its business with a total of 36 retail parks across Germany to the joint venture. The vast majority of the roughly 100 employees working in the Center Management function of Metro Properties will continue work under the new company.
In addition to two own centers, ECE will contribute in particular its management, marketing and leasing expertise to the joint venture. The designated managing directors of MEC are Jann Robert (until now Head of Controlling at Metro Properties) and Christian Schröder (until now Regional Director Center Management at ECE).
The planned merger is subject to the approval by the pertinent antitrust authority. A decision in this regard is expected by the end of September.
The real estate subsidiary of METRO GROUP formerly METRO Group Asset Management was recently renamed Metro Properties.