New Europe Property Investments (NEPI), the Bucharest-based real estate investment manager, has acquired the Shopping City Sibiu retail center in Romania for €100 million.
NEPI bought the shopping center from Argo Real Estate, the property arm of Bermuda-based insurance firm Argo Group. Argo was advised on the deal by real estate services firm JLL Romania.
The property, which is located in the city of Sibiu, about 200 kilometres north-west of Bucharest, comprises 850,000 square feet of space and is the third largest of its kind in the country.
Shopping City Sibiu, which opened in 2006, is anchored by two large supermarkets. It is let to tenants including Adidas, H&M, Orsay and Hervis. According to a JLL Romania spokesman, the asset is the “dominant retail center” in central Romania.
Johannesburg-listed NEPI, which began investing in Romanian real estate properties after the crisis,did not disclose whether the transaction was made on behalf of a fund. The firm was also unavailable for comment.
”This is the largest transaction involving a single asset outside Bucharest after the economic crisis. Investors have become interested once again in non-Bucharest real estate opportunities after a long period in which the capital city was their main target,” said Andrei Vacaru, associate director for capital markets at JLL Romania.
”Our most recent initiatives before the sale were to bring the first multiplex cinema to the city of Sibiu,” said Dennis Selinas, the chief executive officer at Argo, who added: “Argo will continue to restructure its Romanian portfolio, aiming to optimize the investment made in the commercial property markets of Central and Eastern Europe.”
Argo Group owns over 4 million square feet of shopping center space in the CEE region.
NEPI, as of December 31, 2015, had net assets of €1.5 billion.