WOOD & Company buys OC Aupark in Bratislava for EUR 450 million

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2021-04-29   08:54
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WOOD & Company is buying the Aupark shopping center in Bratislava from Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW). The price of the transaction EURO 450 million (about CZK 11.7 billion), its completion is expected in the first half of the year. Together with its partner Tatra Asset Management WOOD & Company, it will first acquire of 60 percent stake, the remaining part will be transferred in the agreed shares in 2022, 2023 and 2024.

Completion of the sale is subject to compliance with standard conditions precedent, including regulatory approval. URW will continue to manage the property together with WOOD & Company until the complete transfer of the shopping center. In view of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, URW provided the buyer with a three-year rent guarantee and a participatory loan. At the same time, the joint venture between URW and buyers helped refinance Aupark's existing debt by obtaining a bank loan of EUR 229.5 million (approximately CZK 6 billion).

"Aupark perfectly complements our real estate portfolio and at the same time represents a unique investment opportunity for our clients with stable returns and a favorable risk-return ratio. Current analyzes and trends show the expected return of consumers to shopping centers after the pandemic subsides. Countries in which stores have reopened show a high increase in attendance, "said Martin Šmigura, Investment Director of WOOD & Company, responsible for the company's assets on the Slovak market. According to him, the company plans to enter other markets of Central and Eastern Europe and develop its portfolio this year.

Aupark Bratislava has a gross leasable area of ​​59,600 sqm, last year it was visited by 11.8 million people. "Premium shopping malls such as Aupark will play a unique role in the economic recovery after the covid-19 pandemic. Their clientele consists of middle and upper class visitors, the population groups least affected by the economic consequences of covid-19. the average visitor to Aupark has a 30 percent higher income and will visit a fifth more stores during one visit, "said Michal Soták from the consulting company Cushman & Wakefield.

With the acquisition of the Bratislava shopping center, WOOD & Company becomes the second largest owner of office and shopping centers in Bratislava and Prague. Thanks to this transaction, the value of its real estate portfolio will exceed one billion euros (about CZK 25.9 billion). In addition to Aupark, WOOD & Company also owns the Galerie Harfa and Centrum Krakow shopping centers in Prague. The leasable area in retail property is increased by the group to 115,000 sqm.

Source: WOOD & Company and CTK