Europe: Oaktree goes shopping in Ireland
Deal: US private equity giant buys Dublin mall
When: March 2018
Buyer: Oaktree Capital
Value: €250 million
Why it matters: This acquisition by the US private equity heavyweight is reported to be one of the biggest retail deals to have taken place in Ireland to date. Located in Tallaght, a popular shopping destination in South Dublin, the Square Towncentre is one of the largest shopping malls in Ireland, occupying a site just under 30 acres in size and offering 160 shops. AIB Real Estate Finance part-financed the transaction.
US: QIC shows faith in US malls
Deal: Forest completes divestiture of first six malls to QIC
When: April 2018
Seller: Forest City Realty Trust
Value: $1.24 billion
Why it matters: At a time when the US regional mall sector is increasingly regarded as tired and struggling, this deal shows confidence in the format by a global industry giant. The deal, originally announced in mid-2017, involves Forest City selling a portfolio of 10 malls to QIC in a deal worth $3.175 billion. Divestiture will take place in two tranches. Phase one completed in April.
US: Brookfields in successful mall REIT bid
Deal: Asset manager buys remaining 66% share in GGP
When: March 2018
Buyer: Brookfields Asset management
Value: $15.3 billion
Why it matters: The Toronto- and New York-based asset manager not only makes its biggest ever real estate bet, but the deal signals one of the few successful bids in the last year by a private equity fund for a mall REIT. Brookfields already owns a 34 percent share of Chicago-based retail-focused GGP. By buying the remaining 66 percent, Brookfields will be adding 125 Class A malls to its portfolio. The deal is expected to close in Q3 2018.
Asia: Chelsfield backs Hong Kong retail sector
Deal: Chelsfield and the Pamfleet Group buy Provident Square
When: December 2017
Buyer: Chelsfield and Pamfleet Group
Seller: Provident Square
Value: $257 million
Why it matters: London-based investment firm Chelsfield entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Pamfleet Group, a Hong-Kong-based investment manager, to buy neighborhood shopping center Provident Square, located in the island city’s the North Point district. The acquisition of the three-story retail asset is Chelsfield’s debut deal in Asia and signals a renewed confidence in Hong Kong’s retail sector due to improving consumer confidence, political stability and the growing number of Chinese tourists.