- Carlton Investment acquires 60% of real estate portfolio comprising 10 Real hypermarkets;
- METRO PROPERTIES retains shareholding of 40% Locations for Real secured in the long term
- Together with Real focus on sustainable development enhancing the appeal of the retail stores
The real estate subsidiary of METRO GROUP, METRO PROPERTIES, has divested majority shareholdings in 10 Real hypermarkets to Berlin-based Carlton Investment as part of a joint venture. Carlton Investment is a joint enterprise between Hildesheim-based company group Lüder and Berlin-based Jan Wehle. METRO PROPERTIES retains an interest in the portfolio with a 40% shareholding. The objective pursued by the joint venture partners is to sustainably boost and enhance the attractiveness and footfall of the retail stores that are of strategic importance to Real through the gradual renovation and development of the properties.
The real estate properties are bundled in the so called "Socrates portfolio," which METRO PROPERTIES had reacquired from the DELEK Group in 2014 to systematically optimise and strategically secure Real’s store portfolio. "When we addressed the projected resale more closely after reacquiring the properties, we soon realised just how much potential the individual stores offered for increasing attractiveness and value," Jürgen Schwarze, CFO at METRO PROPERTIES, explains. "To achieve optimum leverage of this potential, apart from solid financing, an experienced project developer was also required who contributes the specialised competence and drive to reposition large-area retail real estate. We found the ideal partner for this in Carlton Investment."
The Lüder group of companies is a project developer that operates across Germany. It specialises in the development of large-area retail and has already been active successfully in the market for 60 years. Recently, in collaboration with Jan Wehle, Lüder repositioned both the Planetencenter shopping centre in Garbsen as well as acquiring the EKZ Mainspitze shopping centre in Raunheim. Carlton General Managers Sebastian Lüder and Jan Wehle agree: "The investment in the joint venture offers us far more than a mere shareholding in a highly sought-after retail real estate portfolio. We look forward to implementing attractive project developments in collaboration with Real in order to raise the intrinsic value of the individual stores."Real CEO Didier Fleury also welcomed the transaction: “Alongside extensive investments by METRO GROUP in recent years in Real, this move will also contribute to the long-term consolidation of our store network and thus to securing Real’s future overall. We look forward to collaborating with Carlton Investment.” Under the chosen transaction structure, the properties were transferred into a holding company, in which METRO PROPERTIES holds a 40% stake and Carlton Investment holds 60% through a property management company. Specifically, the Real hypermarkets that form a part of the transaction are Bremerhaven-Pferdebade, Castrop-Rauxel, Gross-Gerau, Darmstadt, Freiburg (Gundelfinger Strasse), Heidenau, Würzburg (Nürnberger Strasse), Wetzlar, Raunheim and Wiesbaden (Mainzer Strasse). All stores were secured for Real through long-term rental agreements.