File picture: Dado Ruvic
Durban - Echo Polska Properties (EPP), the Poland retail property fund in which listed Redefine Properties has a 49.9 percent shareholding, said it had concluded an acquisition agreement for another retail asset, Galeria Solna in Inowroclaw, north-central Poland.

The purchase consideration was 22.4 million (R343m), based on the asset value of 55.4m. Echo Polska chief executive Hadley Dean said: “We are excited to add another regionally dominant centre to our portfolio, which advances our claim of building a Polish retail property champion.

“In the last nine months EPP has added seven retail properties to its portfolio, which now has properties situated in 16 major retail locations across Poland.” The JSE-listed group said in line with EPP strategy, the 24000m² centre was located in a regionally growing Polish city with a large catchment area and a proven track record since opening in 2013.

The acquisition is a further step in realising EPP’s strategy of becoming a pure retail property fund by 2019.

Read also:  Rockcastle on an acquisition trail 

In October the group also acquired a 70 percent interest in a special purpose vehicle that owned the biggest commercial property development site in Warsaw for up to 120m.

EPP acquired the 22 Towarowa Street property from Griffin Real Estate, Poland’s leading real estate fund.

The group continued with its acquisition spree when it acquired another 70 percent stake in Valeria Mlociny in Warsaw, Poland for 29m from Rosehill Investments.

Galeria Solna boasts 100 percent occupancy with 92 shops and anchor tenants including Tesco, McDonald's, LPP Group brands (Reserved), H&M, Rossmann, Media Markt, Martes Sport, Deichmann, CCC, Smyk, Empik. The proposed acquisition, Galeria Solna, has been awarded the prestigious BREEAM certificate for the building’s environmental standard. EPP, the Dutch-based company also listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, said in March it had grown its property portfolio by 17percent to 1.4bn in the six months since listing in September and had expanded its portfolio to 19 properties.

The group said Poland’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals as well as initiatives such as the state child allowance were expected to continue impacting positively on purchasing power.

“With this retail growth we intend doubling the value of our retail portfolio by 2019 and becoming the Polish retail landlord of choice,” said Dean.

The transaction is not subject to approval by the EPP shareholders as it is not categorisable in terms of the JSE listings requirements.