Portugal sees largest retail divestment in history.

With the completion this week of Merlin’s acquisition of Almada Fórum shopping centre, Blackstone has finished the sale process for their Rio Tejo retail portfolio. The portfolio comprised three prime shopping centres and a retail park which, combined, represent the largest ever portfolio transaction in Portugal at over €900 million. Almada Fórum was the last property in the portfolio and traded at €406 million.

The Rio Tejo portfolio included Fórum Montijo, Fórum Sintra, Sintra Retail Park and Almada Fórum with a GLA of over 210,000 square metres and 542 national and international tenants.

As explained by Fernando Ferreira, Head of Capital Markets at JLL Portugal «Almada Fórum is an award winning, dominant trophy asset benefitting from a unique location and strong performance comparable to a number of prominent shopping centres across Europe, Almada Forum appealed to a wide range of core international investors reinforcing confidence in the Portuguese market.»

«The sale of Almada Fórum is another successful example of our strategy of buying and stabilising complex assets and portfolios. Through active asset management and key value-add initiatives, Blackstone enhanced the tenant mix and consumer experience across the portfolio» added Elmar Schoonbrood, Managing Director of Real Estate at Blackstone.

«Despite challenges in the retail sector, this transaction demonstrates that good quality retail assets in strong locations, providing defensive and resilient characteristics remain attractive. We’re continuing to see demand from experienced investors, both domestic and international, for opportunities to acquire assets of scale in new markets.» according to Mike Bellhouse, Regional Director, EMEA Retail Capital Markets at JLL.


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