Metro Properties, the real estate arm of Metro AG, has sold the real estate of 11 Metro and Makro Cash & Carry stores in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in a sale-and-leaseback transaction, says a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
The portfolio has been acquired by FLE GmbH, Vienna, a subsidiary of the French LFPI Group, investing on behalf of an AIF-regulated fund. The transaction was finalized in August 2019, with a total volume exceeding EUR 250 million. Metro and Makro Cash & Carry will continue to operate all wholesale locations on the basis of long-term lease contracts.
“Real estate markets are close to historical low yields. Many of our assets have been fully developed,” explained Jürgen Schwarze, CFO of Metro Properties. “Taking advantage of a healthy real estate market, we can capitalize on our strong operational standing, thereby crystalizing value to make new investments and pursue further projects.”
“The sale of selected assets from the real estate portfolio in the Central and East European region is one example of our global portfolio strategy,” added Wolfgang Baumgartinger, director transactions at Metro Properties. “We unlock real estate value built up and fostered by continuous successful operations. With FLE GmbH, we have found a matching partner, sharing both our passion and our vision for the wholesale business.”
“With the acquisition of 11 Cash & Carry properties in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, we have not only acquired real estate in prime CEE cities, but also see ourselves as a highly committed new long-term partner of Metro AG,” noted Alexander Klafsky, managing partner of FLE GmbH. “We appreciate Metro as a very sophisticated, pioneering market leader in the international wholesale business. Just like our new partner, we strive to create long-term sustainable values through our business model and our investments. Metro and Makro Cash & Carry have carefully established their markets and all properties are excellently located with very good accessibility and visibility. We see this investment as an important milestone for our investment strategy in CEE countries.”
The total portfolio of 11 established properties comprises five Makro Cash & Carry stores in Poland (Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków and Lublin), three Metro Cash & Carry properties in Hungary (Budapest), and three Makro Cash & Carry units in the Czech Republic (Prague). Metro Properties retains ownership of several adjacent plots in Poland and the Czech Republic to develop mixed-use projects.