Altarea announced on Thursday that it has entered into a long-term partnership with Crédit Agricole Assurances involving €1 bn of its retail property assets.
Under the agreement, the two partners will create two joint ventures 51%-owned by Altarea and 49% by Crédit Agricole Assurances with a focus respectively on retail parks and travel retail in railway stations.
The operation is financed entirely through straight equity (€515 mln invested by Altarea and €485 mln by Crédit Agricole Assurances):
The transaction is being carried out on the basis of an asset value slightly below the 2020 year-end appraisal values. The transactions are due to be finalised by the end of 2021.
The retail part JV, called Alta Retail Parks, encompasses nine French retail parks owned by Altarea: Les Portes de Brest Guipavas and Family Village Costières Sud (Nîmes), Family Village Les Hunaudières (Mans-Ruaudin), Les Portes d’Ambresis (Villeparisis), Castorama (Pierrelaye), Thiais Village (Thiais), Family Village (Limoges), and Family Village and Village de Marques (Aubergenville).
The assets represent a combined surface area of 212,000 m2, generate €30 mln in gross annual rental income and welcome more than 30 million visitors per year.
Alta Infrastructures, focused on “travel retail”, encompasses retail outlets at Paris-Montparnasse station and a portfolio of five Italian railway stations owned by Altarea.
Covering 18,500 m2 and in concession until 2052, Paris-Montparnasse offers a range of 130 shops, restaurants and services, including a medical centre. Internationally, the partnership covers five Italian railway stations in concession until June 2041 (Milano Porta Garibaldi, Roma Ostiense, Torino Porta Susa, Padova Centrale and Napoli Afragola), some of which are earmarked for extension. In the future, this partnership may include other opportunities to invest in European railway stations.
Altarea will retain asset management. Following these transactions, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2021, Altarea will manage a portfolio of 43 retail assets representing a total value of €5.2 bn.
‘In line with a partnership strategy going back nearly 10 years, these two new agreements confirm the appetite of large investors such as Crédit Agricole Assurances for quality retail assets when they are backed by qualified operators with recognised know-how. They also underline the relevance of the types of asset owned and developed by the Group, in a post-Covid environment that holds out the prospect of an upturn in consumer spending,’ said Alain Taravella, chairman and founder of Altarea.
‘Through this new partnership, Crédit Agricole Assurances is pursuing its strategy of investing in assets offering attractive returns on behalf of its clients over the medium to long term. These include retail parks, which have proved resilient to the crisis, and railway station shops, which together stand to reap the full benefit of the expected upturn in consumption and travel,’ said Philippe Dumont, Chief Executive Officer of Crédit Agricole Assurances.