LaSalle makes first acquisition in Central Europe with purchase of Polish retail park
LONDON and WARSAW November 24, 2015 – LaSalle Investment Management (“LaSalle”), the global real estate investment manager, has made its first acquisition in Central Europe on behalf of Encore+, with the purchase of a retail park in Poland.
Futura Retail Park in Wroclaw, Poland’s second most affluent city, has been purchased from IRUS FUND for just over €27m. The acquisition demonstrates LaSalle’s faith in the prospects for Poland and the rest of the Central Europe region, as well as its growing commitment to the overall European retail sector.
The retail park, anchored by Carrefour, is a 22 unit, 20,208 square metre scheme on the outskirts of Wroclaw. It is located close to the airport and ring-road, making it easily reachable by bus or car.
Poland’s Gross Domestic Product growth is forecast to exceed that of many of its neighbours over the next few years, and LaSalle expects the country, along with the Czech Republic, to be a continued focus in the future.
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 three year rolling basis) in the Pan European Property Funds Balanced Funds Index (PEPFI) and has consistently delivered a strong distribution yield of over 5% for its investors. 1
Chris Zeuner, Head of Central Europe at LaSalle Investment Management, said: “In the current economic environment, investors naturally need to seek out markets which provide the appropriate combination of risk and return to meet their requirements. Poland will therefore be one market they need to consider. The Futura Retail Park is located in one of the wealthiest regions in Poland, one which gives good prospects for a strong return on investment.”
Andy Watson, Chief Investment Officer for Continental Europe at LaSalle Investment Management, said: “This acquisition demonstrates our strategy of investing in stable, well-consolidated shopping centres across the continent. Central Europe is a relatively new market for LaSalle, but we believe this is an exciting region, and we are convinced that there are opportunities in retail in Poland and elsewhere that will support the aims and strategies of our clients.”
Gil Bar, fund manager for Encore+ at Aviva Investors, said: “This acquisition adds another country to the Encore+ fund’s diversified exposure across Continental Europe. We see this as an excellent opportunity to capture both cyclical and structural growth and we continue to consider Poland as a good country for further investment.”
LaSalle was advised by Dentons, KPMG, Savills and JLL on the acquisition.
1 Past performance is not a guide to the future. Past performance is net of fees. Source: Aviva Investors as at 31 May 2015.