Metro Properties, the real estate arm of wholesale giant Metro AG, has engaged in a sale-and-leaseback transaction on 11 cash and carry properties in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
The sites have been acquired by FLE GmbH, based in Vienna, which is a subsidiary of asset management business LFPI.
The acquisition, which was made on behalf of an AIF-regulated fund, was valued at over €250 million, Metro said in a statement.
Metro and Makro cash and carry will continue to operate all wholesale locations on the basis of long-term contracts, the group added.
“Real estate markets are close to historical low yields," commented Jürgen Schwarze, CFO of Metro Properties. "Many of our assets have been fully developed. Taking advantage of a healthy real estate market, we can capitalise on our strong operational standing, thereby crystallising value to make new investments and pursue further projects."
Schwarze added that the company is seeking to "unlock real estate value built up and fostered by continuous successful operations", and that FLE GmbH shares the group's "passion and vision" for the wholesale business.
The portfolio of stores includes five Makro cash and carry stores in Poland (Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow and Lublin), three Metro sites in Hungary (Budapest) and three Makro sites in the Czech Republic (Prague).
Commenting, Alexander Klafsky, managing partner of FLE GmbH, said that he viewed the group as a "highly committed" new long-term partner for Metro AG.
"We appreciate Metro as a very sophisticated and pioneering market leader in the international wholesale business," he said. "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."
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine