Independent Balkan News Agency

Record-high price for real estate in Bulgaria as competition body approves South African purchase of Paradise Center mall

Record-high price for real estate in Bulgaria as competition body approves South African purchase of Paradise Center mall
Bulgaria's Competition Protection Commission has approved the acquisition of Paradise Center mall in Sofia by South African fund NEPI Project Two, which is paying 252.9 million in the deal - the highest-ever price paid for real estate in Bulgaria.

NEPI Project Two is a subsidiary of NEPI Rockcastle pld, a commercial property investor and developer, listed on the Main Board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Euronext Amsterdam.

The signing of the deal to acquire Paradise Center mall was on September 21 2017 and approval from the Competition Protection Commission came on November 23, according to an announcement on the commission's website.

In June 2017, the South African group acquired the Serdika Center mall in the Bulgarian capital for 207.4 million euro.

With the Paradise Center mall deal, the South African group has the largest share in the leased retail market in the capital.

In a filing to the JSE, NEPI said that the purchase of Paradise Center was funded by its cash resources and debt facilities, combined with sale of listed securities held.

The deal sees NEP Rockcastle, through its subsidiary, acquires all issued shares in, and claims again, Bulfeld EOOD, the owner of Paradise Center

With a gross lettable area of 82 000 sq m , Paradise Center is the largest retail centre in Sofia.

The centre is located in the wealthy southern part of the city, which is undergoing strong development, NEPI Rockcastle said.

Opened in 2013 and benefitting from a corner location at the intersection between two main traffic arteries and direct access to the newly built M2 metro line, Paradise Center has an annual footfall in excess of 10 million visitors. T

The mall is let to major national and international tenants such as Bershka, Cinema City, Forever 21, H&M, LC Waikiki, Massimo Dutti, New Yorker, Pull & Bear, Reserved, Sephora, Sport Vision, Sofia Event Center (a conference facility), Stradivarius, Technopolis and Zara.

The centre has a food and entertainment area, which includes both a complete fast and slow food line up, a fitness facility with a 25m swimming pool, as well as a playground.

Several asset management initiatives, including major improvements to the basement and the terrace level together with enhancements to the tenant mix, will further strengthen its dominant market position, NEPI Rockcastle said.

The aggregate purchase price for the transaction results in an acquisition yield of about seven per cent, the group said./IBNA

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