News Article Bulgaria GTC investment mall office retial SEE shopping Sofia
by Property Forum | Investment

GTC continues its growth strategy and further expands its portfolio in Sofia. The developer and asset manager purchased Mall of Sofia, a prime shopping centre and office tower in Sofia’s Central Business District, seizing opportunity in the growing economy in Bulgaria. The property was formerly owned by Europa Capital.


To facilitate a high FFO yield from the asset, GTC (through the acquired subsidiary) has obtained an attractive loan facility from a consortium of OTP and DSK banks to finance up to 65% of the market value of the asset.
 
“During the last year, we secured attractive land plots to develop new Class A office buildings in various European capitals, amongst them, in Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia and Zagreb. The acquisition of Mall of Sofia was an excellent opportunity to buy a stable cash-flow generating building, at the heart of Sofia. This acquisition will appreciate value by taking advantage of fast growing customer spending power and is another step in reaching our mid to longer term NAV growth target,” said Thomas Kurzmann, GTC’s CEO.
 
“We observed a great potential in the improving economic situation in Sofia and we appreciate the good support from our lenders, who are also our long-term partners. Through the acquisition of €7.55 million in-place NOI with less than €30 million equity, GTC will improve its profitability through an overall increase in EBIT, while deploying the existing capacity of local management platform. This will increase our FFO, provide for additional dividend capacity and thrust for self-propelling growth,” added Erez Boniel, GTC’s CFO.
 
Mall of Sofia is located at the intersection of the two busiest roads in Sofia in the centre of the city. The building benefits from its strategic location through its immediate connection to multiple bus, trolley, tram stops and the metro station only 3 minutes away. The mall enjoys high customer frequency from residents of neighbouring residential areas with little to almost no competition in that part of the city.
 
The shopping mall is currently 98% occupied with anchor tenants like H&M, Terranova, Calliope, CCC, Benetton, Sisley, Nike, Adidas, and Cinema City, operating the only IMAX cinema in Bulgaria. The food court is occupied by well-known operators such as McDonald's, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, KFC, Happy Bar&Grill.
 
The office is currently 100% occupied with reputable international tenants including Quintiles, Deloitte, DSK (part of OTP Bank).