Henderson Park links up with HBB to buy first German retail asset

European private equity real estate platform Henderson Park has joined forces with German real estate developer and operator HBB to acquire Rathaus Galerie, a shopping centre located in the city centre of Essen, Germany. 

Under the transaction, Henderson Park's second in the German market, the private equity player will take a majority stake in the asset while HBB will be a minority investor and will be responsible for managing the property.

Financial details were not disclosed. The asset was valued at over €123 mln in July last year just before the extension of a major 8,000 m2 lease with the Real hypermarket chain.

The vendor is believed to be the CS Euroreal fund.

Rathaus Galerie is a 31,000 m2 freehold shopping centre in a prime location in the centre of Essen. The asset acts as the main entry point for Essen’s city hall and sits directly above Rathaus Essen Station, the city’s central transport hub. The shopping centre has been acquired 80% let, with anchor tenants including Real and global sports retailer Decathlon.

The joint partners said that they are planning a turnaround strategy including a comprehensive refurbishment, improving the tenant mix to concentrate on convenience retail which best caters to the asset’s high number of local workers and commuters, as well as an enhanced F&B and leisure component.
Nick Weber, founding partner of Henderson Park, commented: 'This transaction increases our exposure to the highly attractive German market through the acquisition of a proven retail asset at a competitive price point alongside our experienced local partner, HBB.'

He added: 'The decision to make our first shopping centre acquisition was driven by the Rathaus Galerie’s dominant status and the latent value we believe can be captured; we intend to implement an asset management strategy that focuses on the introduction of retail and leisure amenities that are most appropriate for the local demographic and which capitalise on the centre’s strong location and surrounding infrastructure.'
The joint venture was advised on this transaction by ZENK Rechtsanwälte, Drees & Sommer, Eversheds and Ashurst.


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