Klepierre exits four Norway shopping centers for EUR 247 million

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Dec 02, 2013 05:08 AM EST

Klepierre sold four shopping centers for a price tag of EUR 247 million or USD 336 million. The shopping centers are located in Norway and the sale will fund the firm's projects in the Nordic region. Klepierre is the second biggest publicly-traded shopping mall operator in Europe. Aside from being the owner and manager of shopping centers, Klepierre also has office buildings located in the Paris metropolitan area.

In a statement, Klepierre said the transaction was done through Steen & Strom, a company which it controls. Ninety percent of the properties were sold to the buyer Partners Group and Sektor Gruppen. The shopping centers sold comprised 1.8% of the rental income of Klepierre for the first nine months of this year.

The real estate investment trust is divesting the assets as part of its strategy to improve the company's profitability. About five months ago, Klepierre said it intended to sell its office assets to raise EUR 1 billon by the end of 2013. The company also said it wanted to focus on its operations on malls. As of October 23, Klepierre said it was already able to sell or had agreements to sell EUR 900 million of assets since announcing its target in July.

Klepierre also said it would be buying 50% of the stake it did not yet own in a Montepellier, France-based shopping center from seller Icade. However, the company did not give financial details about the acquisition.

In its revenues report released on October 23, Klepierre said it had exhibited a solid level of business, with total gross rents for the first nine months of year up by 2.7% to EUR 749.1 million. The gross rents of its shopping center also increased by 3.9% to EUR 707.5 million. According to the company, this was a reflection of the underlying qualities of its portfolio. It also reflected Kleppiere's dynamic asset management as well as the contribution from its malls which it had just opened or expanded.

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