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PARIS-MACIF, the French mutual insurance company, has sold a portfolio of ten shopping malls to the Dutch property company Corio for €595 million ($536 million). This shows the purchaser an overall net initial yield of 6.7%.

The portfolio comprised five French malls in Cherbourg; Issy-les Moulineaux; Ivry, Laval and Montreuil; three Italian malls in Bologna; Modena and Turin and two Spanish malls in Madrid and Valencia. The three Italian properties account for over half of the capital value of the transaction. Also included in the sale was an office building in Madrid, Spain.

The disposal was structured through the sale of the entire share capital in the property company Foncière Européenne de l’Etoile and the management company Trema to Corio’s French subsidiaries.

MACIF plans more shopping centre sales as it moves away from owning and managing shopping centres. But Corio is still keen on retail. Corio was formed by the recent merger of retail specialists VIB and WBN, and the group is now the fourth largest quoted property company in Europe. The purchase increases the retail element of its portfolio from 59% to 65% and gives the company its first assets in Italy.

MACIF was advised by Jones Lang LaSalle and Corio by The Retail Consulting Group, an associate company of CB Richard Ellis. Jeremy Eddy of Jones Lang LaSalle’s European Retail Capital Markets team, based in London, said: “A multi-country shopping centre portfolio of this quality and growth potential represents a unique market opportunity. The transaction is the largest open-market sale of its kind that Europe has seen”.

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