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Catalyst in €55m German retail park deal

The London-based private equity real estate firm has invested in the Erft Karree Kerpen retail park near Cologne on behalf of an unnamed family office, thought to be from the Americas.

London-based private equity real estate firm Catalyst Capital has struck its third and biggest deal on behalf of a partnership it has with an undisclosed family office thought to hail from the Americas.

The firm announced today it had acquired for €55 million the Erft Karree Kerpen retail park, near the German city of Cologne, from Aachen-based vendor Nesseler Grünzig Group, for the partnership.

The transaction follows the capture of Carl-Ulrich-Strasse 4, an office asset in Neu-Isenburg, for €20 million a year ago and Eschersheimer Landstrasse 50, an office building in Frankfurt, for €16 million, two months ago.

The 592,000 square foot retail park is let to tenants including DIY specialist OBI, and consumer electronics retailer Saturn among other shops. The weighted average unexpired lease term is 8.5 years.

Kean Hird, the Catalyst partner responsible for the German and Polish regions, said: “This is a classic Catalyst Capital acquisition. We are buying a well-located and well-let investment, which offers the opportunity for us to apply our asset management skills to add value through driving rental uplifts, repositioning some units and developing new units on vacant plots”.

Catalyst was established in 1996 since when it had invested more than €5.1 billion in real estate assets. PERE revealed last year how the firm was raising its second investment fund although it transacts also via separate accounts and partnerships.

Earlier this year, the firm appointed Ernst & Young to carry out a strategic review of its business. That review encompassed a variety of options that included selling a minority stake to a third party. No announcements have been made since in that regard.