Metro Properties, the real estate company of METRO AG, sold 11 Cash & Carry stores in Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic in a sale-and-leaseback transaction. The portfolio has been acquired by FLE GmbH, Vienna, subsidiary of French LFPI Group, investing on behalf of an AIF regulated fund. The transaction was finalized in August 2019, with a total volume exceeding €250 million. Metro and Makro Cash & Carry will continue to operate all wholesale locations on the basis of long-term lease contracts.
FLE GmbH acquired the properties of 11 Cash & Carry markets on behalf of FLE SICAV FIS, a real estate fund headquartered in Luxembourg, owning a commercial real estate portfolio in Europe and the US with a value reaching €2.5 billion.
Metro Properties engages in efficient real estate management along the entire lifecycle of a real estate asset. By applying its comprehensive real estate competence, Metro Properties actively drives the value of Metro’s real estate. This includes future-oriented investments in relevant locations, their sustainable development and sale and leaseback transactions with long-term commitment.
“Real estate markets are close to historic low yields. Many of our assets have been fully developed. Taking advantage of a healthy real estate market, we can capitalize on our strong operational standing, thereby crystalizing value to make new investments and pursue further projects”, explains Jürgen Schwarze, CFO Metro Properties. “The sale of selected assets from the real estate portfolio in the Central Eastern European region is one example of our global portfolio strategy. We unlock real estate value built up and fostered by continuous successful operations. With FLE GmbH, we have found a matching partner, sharing both our passion and our vision for the wholesale business”, adds Wolfgang Baumgartinger, Director of Transactions at Metro Properties.
“With the acquisition of 11 Cash & Carry properties in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, we have not only acquired real estate in prime CEE cities but also see ourselves as a highly committed new long-term partner of METRO AG. We appreciate METRO as a very sophisticated and pioneering market leader in the international wholesale business. Just like our new partner, we strive to create long-term sustainable values through our business model and our investments. METRO and MAKRO Cash & Carry have carefully established their markets and all properties are excellently located with very good accessibility and visibility. We see this investment as an important milestone for our investment strategy in CEE countries", outlined Dr. Alexander Klafsky, Managing Partner of FLE GmbH.
The total portfolio of 11 established properties comprises 5 Makro Cash & Carry stores in Poland (Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow and Lublin), 3 Metro Cash & Carry properties in Hungary (Budapest) and 3 Makro Cash & Carry markets in Czech Republic (Prague). Metro Properties retains the ownership of several adjacent plots in Poland and the Czech Republic to develop mixed-use projects.
For the Polish transaction, Metro Properties was advised by DLA Piper Giziński Kycia sp.k. (legal services) and Colliers Poland (broker services). In Hungary, the advisory services of Oppenheim (legal services) and Colliers Hungary (broker services) were engaged. For the Czech Republic, Metro Properties was advised by PRK Partners (legal), PwC (financial) and Colliers Czech Republic (broker services).
In all three jurisdictions, TPA Group has undertaken financial due diligence and tax advice for FLE GmbH. Legal services for the purchaser were rendered by Allen & Overy in Poland, Novalia in the Czech Republic and DLA Piper in Hungary.
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