METRO PROPERTIES and Real gain Carlton Investment as joint venture partner for real estate portfolio of Real

  • 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.

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international trading companies. In the financial year 2013/14, it generated sales of about €63 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale –, Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

METRO PROPERTIES is METRO GROUP’s real estate company. The company combines comprehensive retail competence, highly developed real estate expertise and implementation capability. METRO PROPERTIES is a partner for investments as well as for the development and support of modern wholesale and retail stores. At both the national and international level, METRO PROPERTIES pursues active and value-enhancing property management. Investors, leasing partners and customers receive competent support at METRO GROUP’s stores worldwide. Apart from its headquarters in Germany, the company operates through locations in Poland, Russia and Turkey. In other countries, the company is represented by regional managements.

The real,- SB-Warenhaus GmbH is an enterprise of the METRO GROUP. real,- stands for diverse brand name products, a high competency for freshness as well as an attractive price-performance ratio. Under the umbrella of the real,- group, the company operates approximately 300 hypermarkets in Germany. Furthermore, it operates 2 drive-in stores in Germany and the real,- online shop. For the fiscal year 2013/14, the company achieved net sales of approx. €8.4 billion with about 38,000 employees. Additional information is available at www.real.info and www.metrogroup.de.