First Retail International (FRI), the retail property business of Belgian investment group Mitiska Ventures, has acquired half of the Romanian retail portfolio of German real estate investor and developer InterCora Group for an undisclosed amount. The group's Romania-based property portfolio includes 8 operational retail parks, each in a different Romanian city, amounting to about 32,000 square meters of space. Each property has multiple tenants and is built around a Kaufland or Lidl store.
Currently, about 98% of the gross leasable area is leased with an average of 8 years till the contracts expire. Mitiska Ventures has announced that full occupancy will be achieved by the end of the first semester of 2013.
The value of the transaction has not been made public.
Karel De Bondt, real estate director for CEE at Mitiska Ventures, believes Romanian retail will be on an upward trend, regardless of the overall economic situation of the country:
“In our opinion the perception of Romania and of Romanian politics does not correctly reflect reality. As is the case for Europe and the world as a whole, the economic situation in Romania has changed. However, retailers are still expanding and good projects continue to perform well. The InterCora portfolio is a very good example of this,” he stated.
Along with this real estate transaction, the Belgium-based group has reached an agreement with Alpha Property Development, the local representative of InterCora Group, which implies further investments in this Eastern European country.
“We believe together we are very well positioned to further enlarge our asset base with high quality developments. It is our intention to identify comparable country partners and portfolios in other European countries,” added Karel De Bondt.