Rockspring and ECE acquire Czech shopping center (CZ)

Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP and ECE announce that they have acquired Olympia Shopping Centre in Brno, Czech Republic from The Somerston Group. The property is being acquired through a 50:50 joint venture between clients of Rockspring and the ECE European Prime Shopping Centre Fund.

Olympia Brno

Olympia Shopping Centre is the largest regional shopping center in the Czech Republic.

Opened in phases between 1998 and 2010, Olympia Shopping Centre is the largest regional shopping center in the Czech Republic. Located in Brno, the country's second largest city, the center comprises approximately 85,000 m² of lettable area and is anchored by an Albert Hypermarket and two department stores, occupied by Asko and Kika.

Other major tenants include Marks & Spencer, H&M, C&A, Guess by Marciano, Calvin Klein Jeans, Gant, Miss Sixty and Lacoste. The center also benefits from a large leisure element with a cinema, bowling alley, winter ice rink, climbing wall and the adjacent Olympia Park. ECE has taken over the management and leasing of the center.

Robert Gilchrist, Chief Executive of Rockspring said: "Olympia Shopping Centre provided a compelling opportunity for us to acquire a prime, well located asset with an exceptionally strong tenant base. We are particularly pleased to be investing alongside such an experienced operator as ECE, which has over 40 years' experience in managing these types of assets in Europe.

"We believe that this property will continue to benefit from the ongoing improvements in the Czech retail real estate market, which has seen encouraging rental growth throughout the last year, a positive trend we expect to continue.

Dr. Volker Kraft, Managing Partner of ECE Real Estate Partners added: "We are proud of the acquisition of Olympia Shopping Centre as the first investment of our newly established ECE European Prime Shopping Centre Fund in the Czech Republic. Olympia perfectly fits our strategy to acquire dominant shopping centers with the potential for value creation through the operating experience of ECE's local teams."

Christopher Budden of The Somerston Group said: "We are very pleased to have concluded such a significant transaction with two highly regarded and professional investors and we would like to thank Rockspring and ECE for closing the deal in a smooth and timely manner.

"Somerston is looking forward to actively pursuing opportunistic investments in Europe with a focus on retail, hotel, medical and residential real estate."

Source: FD/ECE

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