Listed property investment and management company Rodamco Europe N.V. and HB Reavis Group, developer of commercial real estate in the Slovak Republic, have joined forces regarding shopping center development, investment and management in the Slovak Republic.
The first cooperation focuses on the "Aupark shopping and entertainment center", the largest and most successful regional shopping center in Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak Republic. Rodamco Europe will acquire a 50% stake in Aupark, the purchase price is approximately 75 million at guaranteed property return of 7.75% for the first three years. After three years Rodamco Europe and HB Reavis will also jointly manage "Aupark". Formalization and final closing will be in the first quarter of 2006. The parties have furthermore agreed to cooperate in future retail projects in the Slovak Republic.
Aupark is a state of the art, regional shopping center located approximately 1 km to the south of the Bratislava city center, next to the Novy Most bridge and adjacent to the city center ring road. Aupark benefits from excellent visibility and significant volumes of passing traffic. The total GLA of Aupark is 43,900 m² including a 12 screen cinema owned and operated by UCI.
There are over 200 specialty shops with well known national and international retailers like Terno Supermarkets, Nay Elektrodom, Peek & Cloppenburg, Benetton, Mango, Mexx, Next, Kenvelo, Baťa, Humanic. The shopping center has approximately 2200 parking spaces. The center first opened to the public in November 2001 and is a 3-level construction with a cranked mall and a large central atrium. The retail units are constructed on 2 levels along the mall spurs with traditional leisure/restaurant units located around the central atrium and the 2nd floor level.
It is the intention of Rodamco Europe and HB Reavis to investigate and review other shopping center development and investment opportunities in Bratislava and other cities in the Slovak Republic. Rodamco Europe is able to increase its stake in Aupark in the long term.
Maarten Hulshoff, CEO of Rodamco Europe, commented: "This investment is a very important milestone in our Central European investment program. With the 50% acquisition of Aupark shopping and entertainment center Rodamco Europe now (co-)owns 7 major shopping centers and two major pipeline development projects in Central Europe. We have investments in Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and now also in Bratislava. Through this transaction we are strengthening our shopping center portfolio to another capital city in a fast growing area of Europe. Our cooperation with HB Reavis is exciting and opens up great potential."
Mr. Ivan Valent, CEO of HB Reavis Group, said: "By joining forces with a leading European shopping center investor and manager, HB Reavis confirms its leading position in the Slovak retail market. We intend to develop more retail centers in Bratislava and other major Slovak cities, benchmarked by the success achieved with the Aupark shopping and entertainment center. We are confident that the cooperation with a major international player will enhance our opportunities in the region as well."
Source: Rodamco Europe