London private equity fund manager Europa Capital has bought the Bulgarian capital's Mall of Sofia or more than EUR 100 M.
The sale generates a gain of more than EUR 20 M to be shared equally by Avestus Capital Partners and Irish GE Real Estate, according to a source close to the Irish property company, cited by the Irish Times
Mall of Sofia is a 23,600 sqm (254,000 sq ft) shopping center with 10,400 sqm (112,000 sq ft) of offices above, located in downtown Sofia. The property was constructed in 2006.
This is Europa Capital’s second investment in Bulgaria this year, after it bought Retail Park Plovdiv is a 25,000 sq m retail warehouse park located in Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria approximately 150 km south east of Sofia.
Mall of Sofia will continue to be managed by Avestus Capital Partners and the acquisition is to be financed by the existing lenders OTP Bank and the Bulgarian DSK Bank. Europa Capital was advised in this transaction by CMS Cameron McKenna and CB Richard Ellis / MBL.
Henry Morris, Acquisitions, Europa Capital, said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment in one of the region’s strongest assets. Mall of Sofia has an excellent trading history combined with the opportunity to improve the tenant mix and performance in the future.”
Avestus and GE Real Estate had acquired a 50 per cent stake in the shopping center rom Israeli property development firm, AVIV and Israeli cinema operator, CCI, for about EUR 37 M in August 2005.
They purchased the remaining 50 per cent when the centre was built in May 2006, taking their investment to EUR 80 M.