LaSalle acquires shopping centre in Bilbao, Spain

LONDON December 3, 2015 – LaSalle has made its second acquisition in Europe within a month on behalf of Encore+, with the purchase of a shopping centre in Spain.

Bilbondo, a 40,000 square meter shopping centre with 2,000 parking spaces, is situated in Bilbao, and has been acquired from CBRE GI for just under €60m, representing a net initial yield 7.90%. It was the first shopping centre to open in Bilbao in 1990 and is located in the densely populated Basque Country, one of the wealthiest regions in Spain, that has a catchment area with a population of around 1 million.

Bilbondo shopping centre is anchored by Eroski Hypermarket, with 39 further units which are home to Media Markt, Kiabi and C&A as well as other popular retailers. The shopping centre attracts around 3.5 million visitors annually. BBVA and IBERDROLA, two of Spain largest companies, are headquartered in the city.

The news follows the announcement last month that LaSalle had made its first acquisition in Central Europe on behalf of Encore+, with the purchase of Futura Retail Park in Wroclaw, Poland’s second most affluent city.

Encore+ is a diversified, Continental European real estate fund which aims to deliver stable and growing income alongside long-term capital appreciation, from an actively-managed portfolio, in a monthly dealt open-ended fund structure. The fund has been successfully co-managed by LaSalle Investment Management and Aviva Investors for almost 10 years. Encore+ has consistently belonged to the three best-performing funds by total return (on a three year rolling basis) in the Pan European Property Funds Balanced Funds Index (PEPFI).

Pablo Rodríguez Casal del Rey, Associate Director, LaSalle Investment Management - Spain, said: “The Spanish market is currently competitive and perseverance is required to access and close a deal. Investors naturally need to seek out markets which provide the appropriate combination of risk and return to meet their requirements. Bilbondo, with a clear leadership in its market area, supports this requirement and demonstrates our strategy of investing in dominant centers, as well as complementing our investment profile which ranges from Core through Core plus to Value Add.“

Andy Watson, Chief Investment Officer for Continental Europe at LaSalle Investment Management, said: “These two latest acquisitions demonstrate our strategy to invest in stable, well-consolidated shopping centres across the Continent. Both Bilbondo and Futura Retail Park are located in wealthy regions in Spain and Poland, underpinning a strong return on investment. In our recent EREGI research on Europe’s top 100 cities for investment, Bilbao and Wroclaw were listed as 41 and 70 respectively.”

Gil Bar, Fund Manager for Encore+ at Aviva Investors, said: “We are pleased to add this retail asset to our portfolio, increasing our exposure to Spain where we see considerable value. This new asset will support the Fund’s strong performance and add to the existing well balanced pan-European portfolio. This year Encore+ has seen especially strong new inflows and we look forward to further growing the fund in 2016.”

Encore+ was advised by JLL and Hogan Lovells whilst CBRE GI was advised by CBRE and Clifford Chance.