Friday, October 19, 2007

DEGI acquires Tuscany factory outlet centre

DEGI acquires Tuscany factory outlet centre
5 Jul, 2006, Tuscany

DEGI Deutsche Gesellschaft für Immobilienfonds mbH has purchased the Valdichiana Outlet Village between Florence and Rome for DEGI INTERNATIONAL fund by a share deal. The investment volume totals approximately €88.5 million; the seller is the Italian property company, Gruppo Stilo,the development company of the Percassi Group, which will continue to handle management and letting of the centre.

The property is situated about 30 kilometres south of Arezzo directly on the A1 Milan-Rome motorway, and close to the Siena-Perugia highway. The total floor space, currently measuring 17,540 sq m, has all been let to prestigious international and national branded goods vendors. The shopping centre's architecture is attractive and contemporary; promenades, plus some small piazzas, contribute some typical elements of Tuscan townscapes. The centre's catchment area includes almost four million people. Jones Lang LaSalle and DLA Piper Rudnick have acted as the sole advisors to DEGI on the above transaction.

Valdichiana Outlet Village was developed by Gruppo Stilo as part of their extensive retail development programme in Italy and represents the Group's second Factory Outlet initiative, following the successful completion of the Franciacorta Outlet Village near Brescia in northern Italy. Gruppo Stilo was represented in this transaction by Cushman & Wakefield.
"We are confident that factory outlet centres will permanently change the structure of Italian retailing. The factors driving success here are size and professional centre management," says Bärbel Schomberg, Speaker of DEGI's Management Board. Although there have been autonomous factory outlet centres in Italy only since 2000, the country has developed into Europe's second-largest market in this segment, after the UK, with eleven centres currently up and running, most of them in Northern Italy. The population of Tuscany and neighbouring Umbria, the centre's catchment area, has above-average purchasing power compared to the rest of Italy. In addition, thanks to its location on the "Autostrada del Sole", the centre will attract a lot of tourists.

For 2006, DEGI is anticipating around 3.5 million visitors, and is aiming to expand the centre. By early 2007, the intention is to upsize the area to around 32,000 sq m, and to increase the number of shops from its current 65 to approximately 125. Customers will then have 3,000 parking slots available.