New Europe Property Investments and Belrom tie up €63 million acquisition (RO)

The transaction of the European Retail Park, Braila is part of a wider acquisition plan over the next 3 months by which New Europe Property Investments plc is acquiring three retail parks from Belrom Real Estate. KBC has agreed to provide New Europe Property Investments €113 million facility for these acquisitions out of which €40 million will be used to partly finance the first acquisition.

Launched in 2008, European Retail Park Braila is a 53,000 m² project, with anchor tenants including Carrefour, Bricostore and Staer.

The acquisition has been structured in two components to include cash and shares issued by New Europe Property Investments, quoted on the London (AIM market of the London Stock Exchange share code NEPI) and the Johannesburg (AltX market of the JSE Limited share code NEP) stock exchanges. Two representatives from BELROM Real Estate will be appointed to the board of New Europe Property Investments.

New Europe Property Investments is associated with leading South African property group, Resilient Property Income Fund (also listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange). New Europe Property Investments intends to acquire a larger portfolio of commercial centers in Romania over the course of the next year and wishes to strengthen its relationship with leading developers.

"We are pleased to close the first of a number of acquisitions of retail centres with BELROM and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with BELROM," said Martin Slabbert, managing director of New Europe Property Investments.

Founded in 2004, BELROM Real Estate is one of the leading retail developers in Romania. The group has delivered five retail parks in cities outside of Bucharest: Sibiu, Braila, Tg. Mures, Bacau and Focsani (in total around 300,000 m²), whilst another four are to be delivered in the following two years. The relationship with New Europe Property Investments gives BELROM a strong financial partner to continue to deliver projects in a time when most developments are stuck.

"We are happy about this newly signed partnership. Their experience and financial strength will be an asset for our existing operational projects and will speed up our forecasted retail park developments. We do believe a lot in the future of Romanian retail!" said Steven Van Den Bossche, managing director of BELROM Real Estate.

The buyers were advised by Reff and Associates (corresponding law firm of Deloitte in Romania) and Optim PM. Voicu Filipescu advised the sellers and DTZ Echinox acted as agent.

"DTZ Echinox is proud to be part of a major investment deal, thus proving the ability to create value in the current market context." said Cristian Ustinescu, Investment Director at DTZ Echinox, "This very complex deal could have seemed impossible but was executed fairly swiftly due to resilient pursuit of innovative solutions by parties, lawyers and bankers working together most effectively," said Alexandru Reff, Tax & Legal partner in charge at Deloitte Romania.

Source: DTZ

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