Pan-European commercial property collective, M Core, has officially launched into the Romanian market with its largest deal to date — an investment nearing €219 million consisting of 25 managed assets. The deal, which was completed on 6th December, sees M Core purchase a 132,000 sqm retail portfolio from Mitiska REIM, positioning the collective as the largest property owner in the Romanian retail park market. M Core was advised on this transaction by real estate consultancy company iO Partners.
M Core’s Romanian portfolio acquisition is located across 24 cities, spanning across the country from Arad in the west of Romania to Iași in the east, as well as the country’s capital, Bucharest. The 25 retail centres offer a varied tenant mix including large global brands such as Deichmann, Pepco, KFC, Lidl and H&M
Notable retail parks in the Romanian portfolio include Shopping Park Pipera Plaza, which houses a gross leasable area of 11,000 sqm, across 35 units including tenants such as Starbucks, JYSK and national service providers. Shopping Park Medias also forms part of the portfolio with a gross leasable area of 9,089 sqm, including 16 units largely centred around European supermarket chain, Kaufland.
M Core’s launch into Romania is the next step in the property collective’s expansion vision. The venture is led by M Core co-CEOs of Romania, Sebastian MacDonald-Hall and James Fife. With the recent acquisition, Sebastian MacDonald-Hall emphasises that M Core is poised to initiate a strong presence in the territory, aligning with the collective’s commitment to strategic growth. As such, M Core intends to bolster the Romanian portfolio through continued investment, mirroring the successful approach taken in the UK, France, Poland, Germany.
At this time, M Core has also expanded to the Iberian market with the opening of its Madrid office, as well as completing a €30 million investment of The Quadernillos commercial park. Quadernillos commercial park was acquired by Proudreed, part of M Core, in partnership with BPN Capital Partners, marking the first Iberian asset to join the collective’s €6 billion portfolio across Europe. With its dedicated office in Iberia, further investments in the territory will be managed by M Core’s Iberian team which is comprised of Steven Newman and Simon Blaxland.
This territory expansion is another milestone in M Core’s growth as the property collective actively seeks key investment opportunities to contribute towards its collective €1 billion European investment target.
During this continued expansion period, M Core has partnered with Oliver Fraser-Looen to identify investment opportunities and support the collective’s expansion plans.
Commenting on his involvement, Oliver Fraser-Looen said: “This is an exciting time for the collective as it continues to attain dynamic investments, extending to further territories within Europe. With over 35 years’ experience of investing in the commercial property market, M Core is in a prime position to continue identifying acquisition opportunities requiring intensive management and ultimately maximising their value.”
Sebastian MacDonald-Hall, M Core Chief Investment Officer (Europe) and co-CEO of Romania, commented: “I am delighted to announce M Core’s inaugural portfolio acquisition in Romania. Recognising the strategic significance of Romania, as a territory boasting promising macro tail winds and robust investment opportunities, this move marks a pivotal moment for our collective.
“Central to our success in Romania is a well-equipped team dedicated to managing these investments. The team is not only committed to delivering exceptional service but also aims to cultivate enduring partnerships with businesses and communities in the region.
“M Core’s expansion into Romania represents a significant milestone, underscoring our forward-looking strategy and confidence in the local market. As we continue to broaden our portfolio, our commitment to excellence and community engagement remains unwavering.”
James Fife, Chief Executive Officer of LCP in Poland, part of M Core and co-CEO of Romania, added, “After an extensive period of exploring opportunities in emerging markets, I am delighted to join Sebastian MacDonald-Hall in launching our Romanian portfolio. By entering the Romanian market, we are able to diversify our portfolio and create further opportunities to establish strong national business relationships. As we look to expand our portfolio in 2024, asset sustainability and community integration will remain key focuses underpinning our growth.”
Andrei Văcaru, CEE Head of Capital Markets iO Partners, commented: “This acquisition is the largest single-country transaction in 2023 in CEE. It therefore represents a strong vote of confidence in the Romanian market as well as confirms M Core’s increasing dominance in the region. The deal demonstrates iO’s ability to support our clients navigate through the complex market environment and seize great opportunities.”