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Rockcastle acquires Silesian Retail Portfolio in Poland

Pogoria SC
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Rockcastle Global Real Estate has acquired a 106,700 sq m Silesian Retail Portfolio from BlackRock’s Real Estate division for EUR 220.8mn. The seller was represented in this transaction by real estate advisory firms Cushman & Wakefield and JLL, law firm Dentons and property manager Mayland Real Estate. Rockcastle was advised on the deal by Savills, Hogan Lovells and Arcadis.

Silesian Retail Portfolio comprises two shopping centers in Southern Poland, Karolinka in Opole and Pogoria in Dąbrowa Gornicza. Karolinka and Pogoria are dominant retail destinations in Silesia. They are the largest and most diversified retail destinations in Opole and Dąbrowa Gornicza, offering approx. 70,000 sq m and 36,700 sq m GLA respectively. Both shopping centers are let to leading international and national brands. In addition to Auchan, major tenants include: H&M, LPP Group, Inditex Group, Decathlon, Rossmann, OBI and Leroy Merlin. The properties were developed in 2008 by Mayland Real Estate and BlackRock acquired them in 2009. With over 6-years’ trading histories, Karolinka and Pogoria are fully established shopping centres with exceptional recognition within their catchment areas. The schemes are BREEAM certified (“Excellent” and “Very Good” ranks achieved by Pogoria and Karolinka respectively), which confirms that the Silesian Retail Portfolio reflects the highest environmental and sustainability qualities.

Wojciech Smyk, Vice President at BlackRock, commented: "The sale of this portfolio is an important milestone, proving that our active asset management approach to investments and forging the right partnerships with various stakeholders was clearly a winning strategy. The disposition confirms the assets' maturity and their regionally dominant status. I have all the reasons to believe that the new owner, specializing in retail, will keep them in excellent shape. Our real estate team at BlackRock remains active on the Polish market, currently considering other opportunities here and across CEE."

Spiro Noussis, Chief Executive Officer at Rockcastle Global Real Estate, said: “We are very pleased with our acquisition of Karolinka and Pogoria shopping centres. We believe that they both offer substantial scope for growth and will be an important base for our retail portfolio expansion in the future. By the end of the 2015 calendar year we will own 4 shopping centres in Poland and have an additional 2 shopping centres under construction. This should give us significant momentum going into 2016.”

James Chapman, Partner and Head of CE Capital Markets at Cushman & Wakefield
, said: “The sale of the Silesian Retail Portfolio is clearly one of 2015’s major highlights. Both properties generate a strong and sustainable net operating income and an excellent foundation for growth.”

Agata Sekuła, International Director, Head of Retail Investment CEE at JLL, added: “The sale of the Silesian Retail Portfolio is of outstanding importance for the Polish retail investment market as it is a clear sign of high interest from international investors for large deals and portfolio transactions.  Retail investment transactions may reach the level of EUR 1.7 billion this year in Poland, which is an exceptional result.”