M&G Real Estate acquires BIG Shopping Park in Copenhagen (DK)

M&G Real Estate acquires BIG Shopping Park in Copenhagen (DK)

CBRE Investment Management, on behalf of the European Co-Investment Fund (ECF), has sold BIG Shopping Park in Copenhagen, owned in a joint venture with Portus Retail Partners, to M&G Real Estate – part of M&G plc’s €76bn (£65bn) private assets and alternatives business. The sale represents one of the largest European single-asset retail transactions and for the Nordics region, it is the second-largest single asset retail transaction to have closed since the beginning of the pandemic.


Opened in 2015, the c. 40,700m² shopping park is a unique asset in the Copenhagen retail market with it being a hybrid between a retail park and shopping centre. With 24 tenants and fully occupied, the shopping park is anchored by two supermarkets and two large electronic stores. BIG presents a diverse tenant mix also offering fashion, furniture/DIY stores, restaurants, cafes, a cinema, gym and indoor playground. The big-box scheme has remained opened throughout the pandemic, leading to a continued high volume of visitors despite restrictions.


“As a convenience shopping destination, BIG has proven to be resilient against the transitioning retail landscape. Even with the increase in online shopping and Covid, BIG has increased occupancy over the past few years,” commented Mark Kouters, Fund Manager for ECF, CBRE Investment Management. “We have completed our business plan for this asset, which was to improve the tenant mix, unlock reversion on ground floor units and increase occupancy levels. With a backdrop of strong investor appetite for Nordics retail, it is an appropriate time to exit, and we are very pleased to have achieved a positive sale for our investors.”


Simon Ellis, Fund manager at M&G, said: “Retail parks have shown their resilience during the pandemic, faring particularly well against online shopping and playing a key role in fulfilling online orders. This deal reflects the attractive opportunities we are seeing to acquire high-quality assets with solid performance track records at a healthy yield premium relative to other sectors. We will continue to allocate selectively as we look to provide consistent returns for our investors.”


Robert Gothe, Director, Asset & Investment for M&G in the Nordics, added: “BIG is particularly well located with excellent transport links and is an important social hub for the local community. The pipeline for this type of unique retail warehouse offering in Copenhagen, which provides a wide cross-section of retailers and experiential shopping is very limited. The shifting consumer focus to bulky goods, food and DIY items, which remain immune to online shopping patterns, will also ensure the resilience of retail park rents as the economy and retail sales stabilise.”

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