MDC sells Forum Montijo shopping centre to CGI

Multi Development Corporation, an Amstelland MDC subsidiary, has sold the Forum Montijo shopping centre which it has developed in Portugal to Commerz Grundbesitz Investmentgesellschaft (CGI), in a transaction worth over €100 million.

Located in Montijo, a medium-sized town in the Lisbon region, the new Forum Montijo shopping centre comprises around 50,000 m² of retail and public space and parking for 3,900 cars. The main tenants are Carrefour (hypermarket), Zara and Hennis & Mauritz (fashion) and Sportzone (sports and leisure). The complex also incorporates a six-screen Warner cinema.

Completion in 2003
The shopping centre, 75% of which has been let in advance, is still under construction. Completion is scheduled for early 2003. CGI’s advisors on this transaction were Van Gool & Partners. The complex was designed by T+T Design and Graphos Arquitectos. The architecture reflects the traditional building style of this rural area. Particular attention has been paid to the public spaces and the integration of the centre with its surroundings, in cooperation with landscape architects Broadway Malyan Landscape. Forum Montijo’s catchment area has a population of around 250,000.

MDC’s market position
MDC, the largest developer of shopping centre and city centre projects in Portugal, has already sold three shopping centres to CGI: Armazéns do Chiado (Lisbon), Forum Algarve (Faro) and Almada Forum (Almada/Lisbon). The Almada Forum centre, at 110,000 m² the third largest in Europe, opened for business in September 2002.

The Portuguese retail property market
The Portuguese retail property market is experiencing strong pent-up demand for modern shopping centres combined with leisure facilities, which is creating excellent opportunities for new development projects. MDC has a number of projects in the planning or construction phase at various locations in Portugal.

Amstelland MDC’s strategy
Amstelland MDC is a listed company specialising in the development of city centres, shopping centres, offices, business parks and residential property on a European scale. Amstelland MDC’s activities in southern Europe are part of its strategy for growth in shopping centre development. Amstelland MDC expects turnover on retail property projects to increase over the next few years from 26% of total turnover in 2002 (projected) to 41% in 2004. The emphasis will be mainly on projects outside the Netherlands. Around 22% of turnover will be earned in other countries in 2002; this is projected to rise to 38% in 2004. Amstelland MDC generally achieves higher gross margins on retail projects abroad than on office projects in the Netherlands.

Since the sale of Forum Montijo had already been discounted in the medium-term profit projection, Amstelland MDC’s earnings per share are still expected to rise in line with the earlier forecast.

(source: Amstelland MDC)

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