Sonae Sierra sells 50% of two shopping centers to Rockspring (PT)

Sonae Sierra announced that it has sold a 50% stake in the ownership of two of its shopping and leisure centers in Portugal to the PanEuropean Property Limited Partnership ('PanEuropean'), a fund managed by Rockspring Property Investment Managers Limited ('Rockspring'), London, for an undisclosed sum.

The two centers involved are RioSul Shopping, a development currently under construction in Seixal (south of Lisbon) and scheduled to open on 22 March 2006, and SerraShopping in Covilhã (north-west Portugal) which recently opened 100% let.

The transaction reflects net equivalent yields of 6.25% for RioSul Shopping and 6.76% for SerraShopping. Sonae Sierra will continue to manage both shopping centers.

This agreement with Rockspring underlines one of Sonae Sierra's main development strategies – to form partnerships with companies of international renown that add value to the business. The sale is of particular note given that one of the shopping centers involved, RioSul Shopping, is still under construction, which emphasizes the confidence the investor has in Sonae Sierra.

PanEuropean is the co-owner of CascaiShopping, another shopping center developed and managed by Sonae Sierra.

Global real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker represented Sonae Sierra in this transaction.

According to Álvaro Portela, CEO of Sonae Sierra, "This reinforcement of ties with PanEuropean confirms the long-standing trust and cooperation which exists between the two partners, and also provides Sonae Sierra with a financial input that is important to the sustained development of new projects."

Richard Plummer, Chairman of Rockspring, added: "After a highly successful experience at CascaiShopping, our clients are delighted to have the opportunity to invest alongside Sonae Sierra once again."

The RioSul shopping and leisure center results from the expansion of the Continente shopping center in Seixal and involves a total investment of €65.30 million. It will offer a gross lettable area (GLA) of around 40,000 m2, distributed amongst 11 anchor stores
including a Continente hypermarket, and a total of 127 shop units and 18 restaurants.

The car park has capacity for 2,300 vehicles, 1,900 of which covered. RioSul is expected to attract 7.7 million visitors in the first year and to generate sales of €77.5 million.

SerraShopping, which was designed around the expansion of the Modelo supermarket in Covilhã, opened on 23rd November 2005 fully let. The investment totalled €30.86 million and the center offers a total of 86 shop units with a gross lettable area (GLA) of 17,677 m2. The forecast visitor number for the first year is 4.4 million and it is expected to generate sales of €24.5 million during the same period.

Source: Sonae Sierra

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