PARIS-French shopping centre REIT/SIIC Altarea Cogedim and main shareholders Predica and ABP are to buy Galeries Lafayette’s Aldeta mall unit whose main asset is the Cap 3000 mall in the south of France. The deal values Cap 3000 at $571 million, representing an initial net yield of 4.65%.

Altarea, Predica and ABP have set up a new company called AltaBlue, in which they will each hold one-third of the capital, to acquire Galeries Lafayette’s 99.8% stake in Aldeta. AltaBlue has agreed to pay $14.07 per share in cash for the stake, although the final figure may be adjusted to take account of Aldeta’s financial statements at the end of June. An exceptional dividend of around $5.04 per share is due to be paid before ownership is transferred. Once the 99.8% stake has been transferred, AltaBlue will propose to buy out minority shareholders at a price of at least $14.07 per share. The deal remains subject to approval from the relevant anti-trust authorities.

Altarea’s chairman and founder Alain Taravella said the acquisition demonstrates the company’s ability to position itself in regional shopping centres offering considerable potential. “More than ever, shopping centres are the group’s main focus,” he said. Altarea said the acquisition constitutes a strong sign for the investment market, which is showing clear signs of long-term investor confidence in the shopping center sector.

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