Cromwell buys €600m Polish retail portfolio

Real estate investor and manager Cromwell Property Group has acquired a fund focusing on retail assets in Poland.

The firm exercised its pre-emptive right to acquire a third-party investor interest in the Cromwell Polish Retail Fund (CPRF), which it has managed since previous owner GE Capital Real Estate sold the investment and asset manager, back in 2013.

Comprising seven shopping centres in Poland, the fund has a value of around €600 mln. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The reason for making the purchase now is that the firm believes the long-term forecast for Poland is good. It has been Europe’s fastest growing economy for the past five years and the country has one of the highest expected growths in disposable income, consumer spending and retail sales globally, the company said.

Cromwell has completed several major asset management initiatives including several refurbishments and expansions to assets. Lettings include a 170,000 m2 deal with Auchan and Schiever Polska across eight long-term leases in 2015.

Cromwell CEO Paul Weightman said: ‘We have 34 professionals on the ground in CEE, managing 21 assets with more than 660 tenant customers and over 758,000 m2 of space.’

‘We propose to roll over the acquired interests into a new fund which will be offered to capital partners and intend to initially underwrite the fund for the purposes of taking a co-investment stake. We have two months in which to conclude the acquisition and a further update will be provided in due course,”

Cromwell continues to execute its ‘Invest to Manage’ strategy which involves investing capital to acquire assets, create new funds and sell down to capital partners.

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