Pradera targets Egyptian shopping centres with new vehicle

The London-based retail fund manager aims to acquire up to five shopping centres in Egypt over the next five years through a new fund to be jointly managed with Cairo-based Palm Hills Development.

Pradera, the retail fund manager based in London, is to expand its international business through an Egypt-focused joint venture fund to be co-owned and managed by Cairo-based Palm Hills Development.

The firm has begun negotiations with Palm Hills, which is listed on the Egyptian EGX 30 index and London Stock Exchange, with the parties reaching the memorandum of understanding stage.

Should the venture receive the prerequisite green lights, the fund could end up managing assets valued up to $800 million, bought using equity from Pradera’s existing investor pool, according to a report by Property Week, the UK commercial property magazine.

The assets are expected to be developed by Palm Hills as well as by other development firms operating in the country.

Quoting Chris Jolly, chief executive of Pradera’s parent company Cadena, PW reported that an increasingly affluent middle-class in Egypt was the key driver behind the move.

Pradera’s early growth was driven by its success in the UK retail parks market. Led by entrepreneur Paul Whight, the firm exported its investment strategy into Europe and latterly entered the Chinese retail sector with the launch of a dedicated vehicle.

In related news, Pradera has acquired a three-asset portfolio of shopping centres in Poland from London-based fund management firm Carpathian for $54.3 million. The investment was made on behalf of Pradera’s Open-Ended Retail Fund.