NEPI has acquired Arena Centar, the largest shopping centre in Zagreb. Developed in 2010, and extending to over 60,000 sqm, the shopping centre is anchored by Interspar, P&C, H&M and Inditex. The SEE Capital Markets team in JLL’s Belgrade office advised the owners, a joint venture between Granit Polus of Hungary and Heitman of the USA. The purchaser was New Europe Property Investments (NEPI) from South Africa, and increases their footprint of shopping centres in the region, currently comprising assets in Romania and Serbia.
The sale, upwards of €235 million represents the largest single asset transaction in the region and brings the total volume of shopping centres transacted by JLL in 2016 alone to over €650 million, having previously advised on the Delta City sales in Belgrade and Podgorica, together with Mall of Montenegro in Podgorica and Skopje City Mall in Skopje.
Uros Grujic, head of Capital Markets for South East Europe, commented: “We are extremely proud to have advised Granit Polus and Heitman on such a ground-breaking transaction. The level of interest in the asset was high and we received bids from a wide range of highly institutional investor groups which proves that the SEE region is becoming a new investment destination thanks to good quality assets, combined with attractive yields across emerging economies like Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. With debt terms becoming more attractive by the quarter, we expect to see new capital come into the region which will be targeting not only the retail segment but also other proven asset classes across South East Europe.”
Andrew Peirson, Managing director for JLL South East Europe, added: “With this record breaking deal, we have not only positioned ourselves as the sole advisor in the region for such services but have at the same time opened up the SEE market to new investors. With the sale of the six largest shopping centers between four countries in the past 18 months the region is proving to be an interesting destination. We expect demand from investors to continue and hope to see more supply come to the market in 2017 in order to meet increased investor interest.”
With this sale of the largest shopping center in Zagreb, JLL expects that almost €1 billion will be transacted in 2016, making it a record year for South Eastern Europe.