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Mitiska REIM secures €123 mil. from Erste Bank for retail parks

Mitiska REIM, the leading specialist investor in European retail parks and convenience centres, has today announced it has extended its relationship with Erste Group Bank AG by securing a €123 million senior debt facility for its entire retail park portfolio in Romania.

Mitiska REIM’s Romanian portfolio is one of the largest retail real estate portfolios in the country, encompassing 24 retail parks with a gross leasable area of 132,000m2. The entire portfolio was developed, built and managed to a high standard by Mitiska REIM and its Romanian country partner, Square 7 Properties over the past 10 years.

Food anchoring is a key strength across the portfolio, with all retail parks anchored by a Kaufland or Lidl supermarket, or a combination of both. The tenant mix is well-diversified, with a focus on daily needs and discount retail, made up of leading international brands such as Deichmann, DM, Pepco, Jysk, KFC, Kik and Takko. Based on these strengths, the retail parks and their tenants have continued to perform well over the past year despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proceeds of the financing will be used to fund the completion of a new retail park under construction in Baia Mare, extension development projects for existing retail parks in Tulcea, Slatina and Medias, and provide liquidity to the shareholders of the SPVs after having funded the growth of the portfolio.

Claus Graggaber, Head of International Commercial Real Estate Finance at Erste Group Bank AG, comments: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Mitiska REIM in Romania, following the successful refinancing of sections of their portfolio in 2019 and 2020. At Erste Group Bank AG, we believe in the strength and resilience of food-anchored retail during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the significant opportunities in the Romanian market.”

Clemens Petschnikar, CEO of Square 7 Properties, comments: “Romania is now one of the fastest-growing economies in the EU, significantly exceeding the EU average over the past 5 years for growth of GDP, private consumption and consumer purchasing power. Yet the Romanian market remains underserved in terms of modern retail space per capita, while consumer spending is growing faster than in Western Europe, which we believe will strongly favour the retail park concept.”

Axel Despriet, Co-CEO of Mitiska REIM, comments: “All the retail parks in the Romanian portfolio have been developed on strategic urban infill locations, along the main traffic arteries of the cities in which they are built and always within walking distance of large residential or office areas, making them a ‘go to’ destination for daily convenience shopping. We believe the targeted locations, diversified tenant mix and sustainable approach, in combination with the positive socio-economic trends in Romania, will continue to drive future growth opportunities across the portfolio.”

Mitiska REIM is headquartered in Belgium and is Europe’s leading specialist investor in retail parks and convenience centres, offering convenient shopping, ample free parking and affordable infrastructure. Properties typically offer a mix of necessity-driven retail brands, anchored by a major food store which drives daily footfall.

With over 40 years’ experience, Mitiska REIM are experts in both retail operations and convenience real estate, and have built strong relationships with leading national and international retail brands.

Mitiska REIM’s investment model is partnership-driven, positioning itself as an active, value-adding investor, in collaboration with experienced local co-investment partners in respective geographies. Its approach is to unlock opportunities and drive superior value creation through the execution of development projects and value-add acquisitions with subsequent active asset management.

In just 8 years, Mitiska REIM has raised 2 closed-ended funds (FRI and FRI 2) and built a portfolio of more than 70 properties representing over 700,000m² GLA across 11 countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Serbia).

As the Romanian country partner of Mitiska REIM, Square 7 Properties co-owns and operates a portfolio of 24 retail parks, which were developed over the past 10 years in locations all over Romania. Square 7 Properties also acts as co-investor, developer and manager for all new retail developments undertaken by Mitiska REIM in Romania.

Through its group companies Squaretime, Squarebox and Switchboard, Square 7 Properties acts as Developer, Project Manager, Property Manager, Asset Manager and Facility Manager.

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