News Article Czech Republic DRFG Focus Estate Fund investment retail retail park
by Property Forum | Investment

Focus Estate Fund has finalized the deal on the sale of two of its retail properties in the Czech Republic to investment group DRFG – Centro Ostrava Retail Park (7 699 sqm GLA) in Ostrava and Most Retail Park (6 471 sqm GLA) in Most. The Fund acquired these assets in 2016 and 2017, respectively. As of the date of the transaction, both properties were 100% leased.

BNP Paribas Real Estate was the sales broker in the transaction. Kocián Šolc Balaštík provided legal support, Savills administered technical issues, ASB carried out financial consulting. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

Centro Ostrava Retail Park is anchored by Jysk, Mountfield, Koberce Breno, Nábytek Getymo, Autodraft; Most Retail Park – Mountfield, Sportisimo, Koberce Breno, Auto Kelly, Jump Park.

“We entered the Czech market back in 2016 and were looking to create a liquidity event for our limited partners as our 5-year investment horizon has been coming to an end. During those 5 years, we have succeeded in implementing our value-add strategy and in particular, increased the occupancy rate to 100%, strengthened the tenant mix and enhanced the attractiveness of the locations among the customers which has led to the increase of the revenues and capitalization. Our focus was and is on non-prime retail parks and convenience shopping centres and these assets have proved their resilience in the face of the pandemic. At this point we have even more appetite to invest in the Czech market,” Maxim Shkolnick, Focus Estate Fund General Partner commented on the deal.

“We are pleased to expand our real estate portfolio with two quality properties that fit into our investment philosophy. The strategy focused on conveniently located retail parks in the vicinity of the grocery store and focusing on daily necessities also worked for us during the lockdown period when these stores often operated without major restrictions. Through the acquisition, we are also strengthening our position in important regions - in the Moravian-Silesian Region and Northern Bohemia,” Otakar Souček, Investment Director DRFG said.

“The proven location, easy accessibility and the associated attractive tenant mix are key “must-haves” that sparks an interest of investors if they intend to invest into retail properties. This was confirmed to us also while selling the Focus retail parks portfolio. We are thrilled that we were able to fully utilize the potential of the open tender sale process and that the transaction was successfully closed before the end of this year,” Jan Bohata from the Capital Markets team at BNP Paribas Real Estate in Prague commented.

“We are very happy to support Focus Estate Fund in their development in the CEE region by realizing their divestment objectives. The two retail parks located in the Czech Republic were part of a larger CEE portfolio which is developed successively with our support,” Mateusz Skubiszewski, MRICS, Head of Capital Markets in BNP Paribas Real Estate, Poland added.