Echo Polska Properties has acquired four Polish retail assets from private equity giant Blackstone for €167 million.
The Amsterdam-based private equity real estate firm, which invests in commercial office, retail and industrial properties throughout Poland, bought the four shopping centers from Blackstone’s European-focused opportunistic vehicle, Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe IV.
The four assets are the 244,000-square-foot Galeria Twierdza in Klodzko, south-west Poland; the 240,000-square-foot Galeria Twierdza in Zamosc, in the south-east of the country; the Galeria Tecza, which totals 160,000 square feet, in Kalisz, central Poland; and the 260,00-square-foot Wzorcownia Shopping Center in Wloclawek, also in central Poland. Galeria Twierdza in Zamosc was the most expensive asset of the quartet, costing €53 million.
The Wzorcownia and Twierdza Klodzko assets have been operational since 2009, while the Twierdza Zamosc and Galeria Tecza retail centers both opened in 2011. Tenants already leasing space in the four centers include LLP Group, H&M, Rossman, Carrefour and Cinema 3D.
All four assets have easy access by road and public transport, with three located in the center of their respective cities, which have populations ranging from 175,000 to 360,000. The deals mark EPP’s first acquisition in Klodzko and Zamosc.
“These shopping centers are dominant within their catchment area and represent a strategic fit in our retail long-term ownership,” said Hadley Dean, EPP’s chief executive.
“Twierdza Klodzko and Wzorcownia are the only large modern retail properties in their respective cities. EPP is fortunate to already own a portfolio of strong retail and office properties across Poland and the acquisition of these four shopping centers in regional cities is a part of our ongoing strategy to build the company into a ‘national champion’ while delivering double digit growth in dividend per share per annum.”
In March 2014, Blackstone closed BREP Europe IV after raising $8.8 billion in six months, making it the largest opportunistic real estate fund raised in Europe. It is understood the asset manager is still deploying capital from that vehicle.
Last December, PERE revealed that Blackstone had raised an extra $588 million for its next pan-European fund, BREP Europe V, taking its total fundraise to $6.88 billion since it began marketing the vehicle in November 2015.
Colliers International and Linklaters acted as commercial and legal advisors for EPP, while JLL and Greenberg Traurig advised Blackstone.