PL

Aupark Bratislava sold for EUR 450 mln

Investment & finance
Investment bank Wood & Company and Tatra Asset Management have acquired the Aupark Bratislava shopping centre from Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield for EUR 450 mln.

Initially, the joint venture will purchase a 60 pct interest in the mall, with the remaining 40 pct to be transferred in pre-agreed stakes in 2022, 2023 and 2024. The transaction of the first stake should be completed during the first half of this year, subject to standard conditions precedent, such as competition clearance. As part of the deal, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) has provided a three-year rent guarantee and participatory credit, including an earn-out mechanism. The joint venture formed by URW and the two purchasing companies has also refinanced Aupark’s existing debt, by obtaining non-recourse bank financing of EUR 229.5 mln.

We are very pleased to work with Wood & Company on this important transaction, which is a genuine landmark deal on the Slovak market. It also demonstrates the resilience of flagship shopping centres and the liquidity of the asset class, despite the Covid-19 context. The transaction makes clear sense for all parties involved, and allows URW to accelerate progress on its core strategic focus of deleveraging.
Martin Makovec, the Central Europe director of investment and operations of URW

Aupark Bratislava comprises 59,600 sqm gla and in 2019 had a footfall of 11.8 mln. It was developed by HB Reavis in 2001. Unibail-Rodamco bought around a 50 pct stake in the centre in 2006 for EUR 75 mln and in 2011 acquired the remaining interest for EUR 151 mln.

The acquisition of Aupark, as a trophy asset in an excellent location, is in line with our investment strategy focused on quality real estate assets, with well-established clientele and a strong tenant mix. We consider Aupark to be a perfect addition to our portfolio and an extraordinary investment opportunity for our clients, with stable returns and a favourable risk-return profile. The current analyses and trends confirm that consumers are expected to shop in-store after the pandemic, and countries with re-opened stores are showing a high increase in footfall. Therefore, together with the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield team, we will continue to develop the shopping centre in order to maintain Aupark as a market leader in the premium shopping centre segment. This year, we will continue to fulfil our expansion strategy and plan to enter other CEE countries, taking the opportunities created by the disruption of the ongoing pandemic and developing our portfolio further.
Martin Šmigura, the investment director and head of Slovak real estate operations at Wood & Company

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