Friday, May 25, 2007

Futureal, Immoeast to build EUR 97 m shopping, entertainment centre in Romania

Futureal Group, a dominant palyer on the Central European real estate market and Immoeast AG, the leading real eastate fund in CEE, have announced on Friday they would jointly build a giant shopping centre in Romania.

“Gold Plaza" will be built in Baia Mare (Frauenburg), a city of 150,000 residents in the economically strong northwest part of the country. “With total usable space of 43,000 squqre metres, it will not only be the most modern, but by far the biggest shopping centre in the city as well," Immoeast has said in a statement.

Gold Plaza will be developed by Futureal (current development volume of about EUR 1.3 bn, mainly residential and retail projects). In a first step Immoeast has acquired 80% of the project; the remaining stake will be acquired upon completion.

The investment volume will total EUR 97 million. Construction will begin in the fourth quarter of 2007 and completion is scheduled for the Q4 2008.

Gold Plaza is to be built in an excellent location, in the most dynamically developing quarter of the town's northwest area, with an estimated population of 450,000 in the immediate surroundings.

“Gold Plaza is the first of an entire series of attractive large-scale investments which we are working on in Romania," Immoeast Director General Karl Petrikovics said.

“In the scope of the investment programme for the 2007/08 business year, Romania will be the most significant and we will invest a total of EUR 1.8 billion here, that is, approx. 30% of the entire investment volume of EUR 6 billion," he added.

In the last few months Immoeast has acquired numerous shopping centre projects in Romania. The most important are the Polus Center Cluj (100,000 sqm), the Polus Center Constanta (90,000 sqm) and a shopping centre in Craiova (37,500 sqm).

There are also numerous projects in the scope of the Immoeast specialty shopping centre chain “StopShop". Altogether Immoeast has 103 properties in Romania with total usable space of about 3.4 million sqm. This corresponds to a share of approximately 20% of Immoeast's overall portfolio.

As of the end of the third quarter of 2006/07 (ending 31 Jan 2007) this will comprise EUR 7.2 bn. With the investments in the 4th quarter and in the first few weeks of the current business year, a total of about EUR 9 bn has been reached.

Immoeast has just succeeded in carrying out a capital increase for EUR 2.84 bn and will finance the further development of its real estate portfolio with this.

At the end of the 2007/08 business year (ending 30 Apr 2008) a fair value (incl. development projects) of EUR 14 bn will be reached, the company added.

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