The development portfolio includes a shopping center in Genk.
The acquisition fits with the strategic choice of Wereldhave Belgium to expand its interest in shopping centers. The purchase of ING’s development portfolio combined with the opportunities to expand Wereldhave Belgium’s current investment properties, enable Wereldhave Belgium to increase the size of the shopping center investment portfolio on the somewhat longer term to approx. €500 mln.
Hans Pars, Managing Director of the management company of Wereldhave Belgium, comments: “The Belgian market for shopping centers is characterized by a relatively small number of shopping centers that are scarcely offered for sale. This transaction cuts both ways.
“On the one hand, we expand our development portfolio, which enables us to generate above average yields, thus creating value for shareholders. On the other hand, we strengthen our organization with a very experienced development team. This transaction makes Wereldhave Belgium a major player on the Belgian shopping center market.”
The development portfolio consists of five development projects, of which the redevelopment and the expansion of a shopping center in Genk and the redevelopment of a shopping center in Waterloo are the largest. The project in Genk is in a joint venture with Redevco. All of these projects are still in their early stages. The initial investment is therefore limited to €19.6 mln, including the existing Waterloo Shopping Centre, land positions and project costs incurred until now. The total investment volume amounts to approx. €150 mln. The first projects will not be transferred to the investment portfolio before the end of 2013. The average expected net initial yield after completion of these projects amounts to approx. 7%.
This acquisition makes Wereldhave Belgium an important player on the Belgian market for shopping centers. The development team of ING is very experienced and has realized leading shopping center developments such as the Waasland Shopping Centre in St. Niklaas and Galeries St. Lambert in Liège. This knowledge and experience can be applied directly by Wereldhave Belgium for its investments in shopping centers in Nivelles, Tournai and Liège.
In total, approx. 15 staff members of ING Real Estate Development Belgium will join Wereldhave Belgium. Wereldhave Belgium will support ING in the finalisation of a number of developments that will not be purchased by Wereldhave Belgium.
After the transaction the Executive Management of Wereldhave Belgium will consist of Hans Pars (Managing Director) and Luc Plasman (Managing Director), thus also filling the vacancy that was caused by the passing of Paul Rasschaert. The appointment of Luc Plasman is subject to approval of the CBFA.
Genk Shopping I
The project in Genk consists of the expansion and refurbishment of Genk Shopping I in the city center. This shopping center is largely owned by Redevco. Important tenants are Carrefour, Sportsdirect, M&S, WE, Vero Moda, Etam, America Today and Hunkemöller. After completion the total floor space will amount to circa 37,000 m².
Wereldhave Belgium will redevelop the shopping center in a joint venture with Redevco, resulting in a 50% stake in the existing ownership of Redevco and the expansion of the center. The total investment for Wereldhave Belgium in Genk will amount to €45 mln.
The project in Waterloo consists of the redevelopment of a shopping center in the city center of Waterloo, an upscale town just below Brussels with spending power well above the national average. The development scheme consists of a non-covered shopping center of 10,000 m² with a parking garage and an attractive square/pedestrian area. The investment will amount to circa €60 mln.
Source: Wereldhave Belgium