Retail Estates announces the development of a new 21k m2 retail park in Verviers in a joint-venture with developer Allfin Group. The investment amount is estimated at minimally € 33m and will yield initially 6.35%. The initial stake equals 51%, but Retail Estates is able to acquire the project completely at delivery in August 2013. This is a good deal for Retail Estates. We maintain our Hold recommendation.
Retail Estates announces a joint-venture with Allfin Group for the development of a 20.9k m2 retail park in Verviers “Crescend’eau”. The retail park will comprise 22 retail premises of which contracts are already signed with Decathlon (3.8k m2), Red Market (2.0k m2) and McDonald’s (0.5k m2).
The initial investment amounts to € 4.25m and will be funded through equity. This corresponds with a 51% stake in the joint-venture for Retail Estates. At the delivery, expected in August 2013, Retail Estates will be able to acquire the remaining shares in the joint-venture. The total investment amount is estimated at minimally € 33m. This would represent an average initial yield of 6.35%.
The limited availability of out-of-town retail in Verviers makes it interesting to build a new retail park. The company receives therefore a strong demand from potential tenants, especially discounters. Furthermore, this new development enables the company to offer size specific shops to the retailers. This flexibility is a win-win situation for the retailer and Retail Estates. Given Verviers natural surroundings, the retail park will predominantly receive local shopping (80k population).
It is known that other intercity development projects are in the running for permits. This could initially harm demand for this large retail park. However, this will probably not be the case. First of all, those projects haven’t received permits yet. So this is no short term threat. Secondly, and more importantly, intercity shops are much smaller in size and as such attract other retailers (no discounters). Crescend’eau will only provide shops with a minimal size of 700m2.
This is a good deal for Retail Estates and offers a nice growth confirming its position as a reference player in out-of-town retail with an annual growing NAV and EPS. We reiterate our Hold recommendation and € 53 TP.