Plaza Centers opens Arena Plaza in Hungary (HU)

Plaza Centers N.V., a leading emerging markets property developer, announces that Arena Plaza Shopping and Entertainment Centre in Budapest, Hungary has been completed and opened to the public.

Arena Plaza is Hungary's largest shopping and entertainment centre and was 100% occupied by international and local tenants at opening. The Centre comprises approximately 66,000 m² of lettable area, with 220 retail units of various sizes, and is serviced by over 2,000 parking spaces. Amongst the international anchor tenants of the Centre are Tesco, the Inditex Group and Peek & Cloppenburg, together with other major retailers such as H&M, Electro World, Hervis and C&A. Additionally, Arena Plaza has a 23-screen Cinema City complex, which includes Hungary's first IMAX theatre.

As announced to shareholders on 7 August 2007, Arena Plaza was pre-sold to UK-based Active Asset Investment Management ("aAIM"). The purchase price will be finally determined on the completion of the transaction, which is expected to take place within a month of Arena Plaza's opening date, on the basis of the actual rent levels achieved being capitalized at an agreed yield.

The Company's management estimates the final transaction price based on actual rent levels will be no less than circa €380 mln., with an overall transaction price cap of €400 mln., as agreed with aAIM. On completion of the transaction a further announcement will be made to shareholders.

Commenting on the opening, Ran Shtarkman, Chief Executive of Plaza Centers, said: "Arena Plaza is one of the largest and most prestigious shopping and entertainment centres in Central and Eastern Europe, the design and ambition of which has set new standards for the region ever since we first acquired the site in late 2005. In developing Hungary's largest shopping centre, we have provided an exciting new commercial centre for Budapest and a compelling destination for national and international tenants and visitors. The project represents our 25th shopping and entertainment center in the CEE region and our 17th shopping and entertainment center in Hungary.

"The Arena Plaza confirms Budapest's position among the major and diverse cities in Europe and has been a significant example of Plaza's mega, strategic development projects, such as the large gambling and leisure resort on Dream Island in Budapest and the Casa Radio landmark scheme in the heart of Bucharest which comprises more than 600,000 m² of build area, including one of the biggest shopping and entertainment centers in the region, residential and office space, a hotel, casino, hypermarket, convention and conference hall and parking facilities.

"The development and subsequent disposal of Arena Plaza clearly demonstrates our ability to create significant shareholder value by developing major retail sites in our chosen markets and attracting premier international and local tenants. In developing the largest shopping center in Hungary, with over 180,000 m² of gross built-up area which were constructed at a record pace of less than 18 months, we have set new standards in design and ambition for shopping and entertainment centers in Central and Eastern Europe.

Source: FD Real Estate

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