IMG completes Russia retail park deal

The Russia-focused manager said it had completed a deal to buy a 70 percent stake in a retail park in Tver to the northwest of Moscow for its Russia Development fund.

Investment Management Group (IMG), the Moscow-based private equity real estate firm, has bought a 70 percent stake for an undisclosed price in a 65,500 square metre retail park to be built in Tver, Russia, on behalf of its Russia Development Fund.

It said the retail park, to be developed by specialist Russian retail property company Normal Asset Management (NAM), would be the largest modern shopping centre of its class to be built in Tver, a city located 134 kilometres northwest of Moscow. The project will be anchored by a hypermarket operated by German retailer Globus and a DIY store operated by French group Leroy Merlin.

The deal is the eighth for IMG’s development fund, which closed on €105 million in March 2009 and whose investors include Aberdeen Indirect Property Partners II, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Immofinanz.

Maksim Kunin, managing partner at IMG, said: “Russia features prominently in many international retailers’ expansion plans, and they’re taking notice of unmet consumer demand in regional cities beyond Moscow, such as Tver.”

IMG is preparing to launch its follow-on fund as previously reported by PERE.

The firm has also begun exiting some of its investments. In August last year, it sold a residential project outside Moscow, earning an internal rate of return of more than 40 per cent.

The firm is led by former Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing head of Russia Maksim Kunin and Igor Turkin, formerly head of private equity and investment banking operations at Moscow's Alemar Investment Group.