Eurocommercial Properties N.V. acquires shopping centre in Bologna and announces scrip issue price

Eurocommercial Properties N.V. (“ECP”) has contracted to acquire the retail gallery of Centro Lame in Bologna, Italy from IGD (major shareholder Coop Adriatica) at a price of € 26.8 million and a net initial yield of 6.35%. The gallery has a lettable area of 5,450m2 and is anchored by an Ipercoop (Coop Adriatica) hypermarket with a sales area of 7,200m2. The property was built in 1996 and serves a populous middle-income area of one of Italy’s wealthiest cities. Dimensione Immobiliare (Unipol Group) acted for ECP in this transaction.

The Company has also completed the acquisition of the Mantova retail park from Coopsette. The first phase of three units opened to the public on the 25th September. The net yield on this transaction was 7.2%.

ECP now owns 8 centres in Italy which represents 41% of the Company’s portfolio, the balance being 37% in France, 9% in The Netherlands and 13% in Sweden where ECP recently acquired 4 centres at a cost of € 86 million. The latest purchase in Italy brings total acquisitions during the current financial year to € 113 million, in line with the previously announced planned acquisition programme. ECP’s existing shopping centre portfolio continues to perform well with a recovery of sales turnovers in September after a poor August because of the European heat-wave.

Stock dividend
The Company is once again offering holders of depositary receipts (representing 10 ordinary shares) the choice of a cash dividend or a stock dividend. Today the Company announced that the percentage of the scrip issue will be 6.67%. This means that those who take new depositary receipts from the share premium reserve, instead of the proposed cash dividend of € 1.43 per depositary receipt, will receive 1 (one) new depositary receipt, for each 15 (fifteen) depositary receipts held. These new depositary receipts will rank pari passu with pre-existing depositary receipts in respect of the financial year 2003/2004. Investors have until 21 November 2003 inclusive to make their choice known. If notification is not received by that date a cash dividend only will be payable. The new depositary receipts will be issued on 28 November 2003. The distribution proposal will be tabled in the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on 4 November 2003.

Source: Eurocommercial Properties

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