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South African firm buys Arena Plaza for EUR 275 mln

Deals

The second biggest shopping mall in Budapest, Arena Plaza, has been sold to NEPI Rockcastle, a South African real estate investment firm specializing in investments in retail assets, according to reports.

According to a press release, NEPI Rockcastle, through its subsidiary Arena Property Kft., has acquired all the issued shares in Symmetry Arena Ingatlankezelő Kft., the owner of the Arena Plaza. The purchase price paid for the transaction was EUR 275 million, resulting in an acquisition yield of approximately 6.2%.

With a gross leasable area of 66,000 square meters, Arena Plaza is the second largest retail center in Budapest. The fully let shopping mall was opened in November 2007 and has reported turnover growth exceeding 7% per annum over the last two years.

According to the press release, "several envisaged asset management initiatives, including major improvements to the leisure and entertainment offering, the introduction of new international tenants and a major refurbishment, will further strengthen its dominant market position."

Online news portal index.hu reports that NEPI Rockcastle, which buys, develops and operates commercial and office properties, has assembled a sizeable portfolio in the region in recent years, and was thus expected by many to make an entry into Hungary.

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