"We regard retail in a rapidly growing economy such as Bulgariaa compelling investment opportunity," says Peter Donnelly, aprincipal of Quinlan Private, in a release announcing the Plovdivpact. The asset should be further enhanced, he says, from ascensioninto the European Union, increased investment among foreign playersand needed infrastructure upgrades.

Dublin-based Quinlan Private will continue to identify andacquire "similarly attractive assets" in Bulgaria, says Donnelly,whose firm is acting on behalf of several investment funds. QuinlanPrivate and GE share a 50/50 ownership platform in the Plovdivproperty, similar to the deal in Sofia. The partnership declined toprovide any financial details on the latest investment, but oneestimate puts the transaction at more than $60 million.

Both the Mall of Plovdiv and the Mall of Sofia in Bulgaria'scapital city were purchased from a development team of Ocif andCCI. The retail market of Plovdiv is undersupplied with modernretail facilities, according to GE Real Estate managing directorKarim Habra, who oversees the Stamford, CT-based group's Centraland Eastern Europe division.

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