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JLL advises on the sale of the Arena Centar mall in Zagreb

The €235 million deal represents the largest single asset transaction in South East Europe to date

JLL has advised on the sale of Arena Centar in Zagreb, Croatia, the largest shopping centre in Zagreb, for €235 million, the largest single asset transaction in the region to date.

JLL advised the owners, a joint venture between Granit Polus of Hungary and Heitman of the USA. For the purchaser, New Europe Property Investors (NEPI), commercial property investor from South Africa, this deal increases their footprint of shopping centres in the region, currently comprising assets in Romania and Serbia.

Arena Centar was developed in 2010 and extends to over 60,000 sq m. It is anchored by Interspar, P&C, H&M and Intidex.

Uros Grujic, head of Capital Markets, South East Europe, JLL commented: "We are extremely proud to have advised Granit Polus and Heitman on such a ground-breaking transaction. The level of interest in the asset was high and we received bids from a wide range of highly institutional investor groups. This proves that the SEE region is becoming a new investment destination thanks to good quality assets, combined with attractive yields across emerging economies like Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. With debt terms becoming more attractive by the quarter, we expect to see new capital come into the region which will be targeting not only the retail segment but also other proven asset classes across South East Europe".

Andrew Peirson, Managing Director, South East Europe, JLL added: " With this record breaking deal, we have not only positioned ourselves as the sole advisor in the region for such services but have at the same time opened up the SEE market to new investors. With the sale of the six largest shopping centres between four countries in the past 18 months the region is proving to be an interesting destination. We expect demand from investors to continue and hope to see more supply come to the market in 2017 in order to meet increased investor interest".

Neil Lipscomb, Director, Retail Capital Markets, EMEA, JLL, said: "This transaction underlines the increasing activity of South African investors in both the SEE and CEE regions with recent investment totalling over €3 billion, primarily in retail assets".

This transaction brings the total volume of shopping centres transacted by JLL in 2016 alone to over €650m, having previously advised on the Delta City sales in Serbia and Montenegro, together with Mall of Montenegro in Podgorica and Skopje City Mall in Macedonia. Almost €1 billion is anticipated to be transacted in 2016, making it a record year for South Eastern Europe.