Sunday 25 February 2018

Joint deal for €30m hybrid retail centre in Germany

The Rheinberg Passage has been acquired by Greenmount Investments.
The Rheinberg Passage has been acquired by Greenmount Investments.

Donal Buckley

Greenman Investments, which manages funds of Irish investors, has acquired a hybrid shopping centre in Germany in a joint venture deal valued at around €30m.

Greenman, headed by John Wilkinson and with offices in Mount St Crescent, Dublin 2, has partnered with Quilvest Real Estate, to buy the RheinBerg Passage, an inner-city retail property, which opened in 2007, and is located at Johann-Wilhelm-Lindlar-Strasse 14 in Bergisch Gladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

The vendor is MEAG which acquired the property in 2008 through its real estate special fund, MEAG German SuperStores.

Greenman and Quilvest Real Estate intend to redevelop the property and reposition its tenant structure so that it can meet the growing consumer trend for gastronomical experience and a demand for a wider variety of groceries and retail options. To this end, negotiations are ongoing with large food retailers.

The total let area of the property is just over 10,000 sq m and it currently has eight tenants. "Following redevelopment we are aiming to increase our tenant numbers to over 15 with a greater focus on food retail," a spokesperson added.

Greenman has a total of 55 assets with a total rental space of some 247,000 sq m located across Germany amounting to a portfolio of about €461m. It focuses on specialist food dominated retail parks, hybrid centres and retail centres with well-known food retailers as the main tenants. It currently manages a portfolio of €461 million.

Quilvest Real Estate is the property arm of global wealth manager Quilvest Private Equity which has about $36 billion (€32.2bn) of assets under management. Since early 2015, investment vehicles managed by Quilvest have closed six direct property investments in the U.K., Germany, Ireland and Spain, totalling over 300,000 sq m for a total gross asset value of €310 million.

John Wilkinson, CEO of Greenman Investments, said: "In RheinBerg Passage, we have acquired an attractive property in a superb high-street location that comes with a high value-add potential. We are firmly convinced that our strategic approach will help to enhance the quality of stay at the arcade and boost the appeal of the inner city in a sustainable way."

Bergisch Gladbach has a population of around 110,000 residents and lies on the right bank of the Rhine, across from Cologne. With a purchasing power index of 116.9, the city has a higher spending power than most other German cities.

Marc Manasterski, global head of Quilvest Real Estate, stated: "This is our third acquisition in Germany in the last 18 months. It is an exciting property in an attractive location, and we are convinced that Greenman's knowhow in the German retail real estate market will make it a success. We look forward to working together."

Hybrid shopping centres are smaller than retail warehouse parks and shopping centres. They cover the entire retail spectrum with a similar concept and tenant structure as a warehouse park. They are, however, located in the centre of towns and cities, usually covering two floors similar to shopping centres.

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