Mitiska REIM, announces the final closing of its ‘First Retail International’ (FRI) club deal. Total equity commitments for FRI are €75 million from a high quality and diverse investor base including pension funds, insurance companies, family offices and high net worth individuals. Taking leverage into account, FRI has up to €200 million of funds available, which will be invested across the European retail warehouse sector.
FRI pursues value added and opportunistic real estate opportunities in the European retail warehouse sector through direct equity and structured financing activities. FRI’s investment strategy is exclusively focused on retail warehouse properties, both clustered standalone units and integrated retail parks, where value can be created through repositioning assets, leasing vacant spaces, extending leases, renovations, redevelopment, new development, and rezoning and selling land.
The retail warehousing niche has proven to be stable and liquid in changing economic environments. It offers long-term, inflation-linked income from good covenant tenants, with the added security of good quality underlying real estate. For investments outside Belgium, FRI will in principle invest via joint venture relationships with experienced local partners. FRI already benefits from an exclusive country partnership with Alpha Property Development (InterCora Group) for Romania, and discussions are underway relating to several other countries across Europe.
At final closing, FRI’s portfolio represented a total investment value of around €100 million spread over 15 different projects and totaling approximately 90.000 m² of gross leasable area (GLA). 40% of the portfolio consists of completed and income-producing properties such as the ‘Parc Commercial Les Dauphins’ retail park development scheme in Mouscron, Belgium which opened in March 2013 (www.parclesdauphins.be), as well as the eight InterCora retail parks spread across Romania. The remainder of FRI’s portfolio consists of projects under development. A robust pipeline of further investment opportunities which should further grow and diversify FRI’s portfolio are currently being evaluated.