M Core launches into Romanian market with €219m acquisition

European commercial property collective M Core has officially launched into the Romanian market with its largest deal to date — an investment nearing €219 mln consisting of 25 managed assets.

The deal, the largest single-country transaction in 2023 in CEE, sees M Core purchase a 132,000 m2retail portfolio from Mitiska REIM, positioning the collective as the largest property owner in the Romanian retail park market.

M Core’s Romanian portfolio acquisition is located across 24 cities, spanning across the country from Arad in the west of Romania to Ia?i in the east, as well as the country’s capital, Bucharest. The portfolio was developed, built and managed by Mitiska REIM in partnership with its Romanian country partner Square 7 Properties over the past 10 years.

All retail parks in the portfolio are food-anchored by either a Kaufland or Lidl supermarket, or a combination of both, with other tenants including leading international brands such as Deichmann, DM, Pepco, Jysk, KFC, Kik and Takko. In terms of sustainability, the entire portfolio has been awarded “Very Good” BREEAM certifications for Asset Performance. 

Notable retail parks in the portfolio include Shopping Park Pipera Plaza, which houses a gross leasable area of 11,000 m2, across 35 units including tenants such as Starbucks, JYSK and national service providers. Shopping Park Medias also forms part of the portfolio with a gross leasable area of 9,089 m2, including 16 units largely centred around European supermarket chain, Kaufland.

M Core’s launch into Romania is the next step in the property collective’s expansion vision. The venture is led by M Core co-CEOs of Romania, Sebastian MacDonald-Hall and James Fife. M Core plans to build up a strong presence in Romania, mirroring its growth in the UK, France, Poland, Germany.

M Core was advised on this transaction by real estate consultancy company iO Partners.

M Core has also expanded to the Iberian market with the opening of its Madrid office, as well as completing a €30 mln investment of The Quadernillos commercial park. Quadernillos commercial park was acquired by Proudreed, part of M Core, in partnership with BPN Capital Partners, marking the first Iberian asset to join the collective’s €6 bn portfolio across Europe.

M Core has a €1 bn European investment target and is partnering with Oliver Fraser-Looen to identify investment opportunities and support the collective's expansion plans.

Commenting on his involvement, Oliver Fraser-Looen said: 'This is an exciting time for the collective as it continues to attain dynamic investments, extending to further territories within Europe. With over 35 years’ experience of investing in the commercial property market, M Core is in a prime position to continue identifying acquisition opportunities requiring intensive management and ultimately maximising their value.'

Sebastian MacDonald-Hall, M Core Chief Investment Officer (Europe) and co-CEO of Romania, commented: 'I am delighted to announce M Core's inaugural portfolio acquisition in Romania. Recognising the strategic significance of Romania, as a territory boasting promising macro tail winds and robust investment opportunities, this move marks a pivotal moment for our collective.'

M Core is a family of property investment and management companies comprising LCP, Proudreed, Sheet Anchor and Evolve Estates.

Mitiska completed the sale on behalf of its FRI and FRI2 Funds. Kepler Corporate Finance, Belfius and CBRE acted as financial advisors and PeliPartners was the sole legal advisor to Mitiska REIM on the transaction.

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