Blackstone bets €80m on Italian retail

The New York-based firm has acquired Palmanova Outlet Village, its fifth Italian outlet center, on behalf of its pan-European retail platform, Multi Corporation.

The Blackstone Group, the New York-based private equity real estate firm, has bought Palmanova Outlet Village, a high-end fashion outlet center in Italy. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed but a source close to the transaction said that Blackstone invested €80 million for the asset.

The firm used capital from Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe IV – its latest opportunistic fund for the region that has €5.1 billion of equity commitments – to acquire the 236,806 square foot outlet center on behalf of its pan-European retail platform, Multi Corporation.

“With the acquisition of Palmanova Outlet Village, we have strengthened our position as a leading owner of factory outlet centres in Italy,” commented Paolo Bottelli, chairman of Multi Italy. “This unique asset provides a compelling opportunity to further upgrade the retail offering for both our local customers and tourists.”

Palmanova opened in 2008 and hosts over 90 retailers, including Calvin Klein, Nike, Adidas, Guess and Tommy Hilfiger and attracts approximately three million customer visits per year.

Blackstone now owns a portfolio of five upmarket factory outlet centres throughout Italy, located in Lombardy, Tuscany, the Venice region and Puglia.

In parallel with the deal, Multi has acquired Added Value Management (AVM), an Italian real estate company specializing in managing outlet centers. Multi will rebrand AVM into Multi Outlet Management Italy which will focus on managing Blackstone’s factory outlet portfolio in Italy.

Blackstone has already been busy buying Southern European retail assets this year, and only last month the firm acquired three shopping malls in Spain and Portugal for a price approaching €500 million.