The Belgrade office of US-based real estate advisor CBRE has successfully advised Mercator on the sale of 10 shopping centers in Slovenia, for a total price of EUR 116.6 million. As part of the transaction Mercator will lease parts of each center for its supermarket business.
The sale, to Austrian-based Supernova, is part of Mercator’s monetization project, which is intended to reduce the Group’s debt and enable its long-term development, and follows on from the sale of their Mercator Center in Belgrade at the end of 2017.
CBRE is instructed to dispose of 17 shopping centers across Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Supernova will purchase the Slovenian shopping centers Ajdovščina, Celje, Jesenice, Koper I, Kranj Primskovo, Kranj Savski otok, Ljubljana Siska, Postojna, Novo Mesto, and Slovenj Gradec. The sale of the centers in Croatia and Bosnia is still ongoing.
– Today’s signing of the contract represents a solid foundation for the successful achievement of key goals that await the Mercator Group in the future. By signing the contract, we have in fact set a good foundation for the new investment cycle, especially the new distribution and logistics centre in Ljubljana that Mercator needs to reduce logistics costs and to simplify and speed up the rate at which the work processes are being updated. A significant cost reduction also represents a better basis for rewarding the effort and knowledge everyone at Mercator is contributing to ensure a successful future for the company, said Tomislav Cizmic, the president of the board of the Mercator Group.
Frank Albert, owner of Supernova Group, stresses out the importance of the deal.
– The transaction was performed in a fair way contributing to long term lasting relationship. This deal will secure leading market positions for Supernova as well as Mercator. While Supernova is enlarging its portfolio of well-established shopping centres in Slovenian biggest cities, Mercator may focus on its core competence as a food supplier. We are looking forward to continuing this amical partnership, Albert pointed out.
Uros Grujic from CBRE who handled the sale on behalf of Mercator commented that this deal was further proof of the increase in investor interest in the region.
– We are proud to have advised Mercator on such a ground-breaking deal. Slovenia is a very important market for CBRE, with the country being perceived most positively of all the South Eastern European markets we cover. Given the size of the portfolio this proved to be a very complex deal, and we now hope to soon close the sales in Croatia and Bosnia in the coming months.