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French multinational company Inmochan is selling part of its flagship commercial centre, with an Alaskan pension fund set to purchase 50%of their share of the Zenia Boulevard shopping centre for 185 million euro.

Inmochan currently own 80% of the commercial centre, the other 20% being owned by Alcampo. The company Auchan owns both Inmochan and Alcampo, and so still remain the majority share holder in the asset.

Sources tell The Leader that this is common practice for the company, to build new centres and make them into a success, before selling shares to investors in order for them to fund future developments. Currently, China is one of their target markets.

Part of this deal would also see two retail parks in Portugal handed over to the Alaskan investors, and would see their revenues boosted by some 150 million euro. As a result of the sale, the Alaska Permanent Fund would own 50% of the Orihuela Costa complex.

Inmochan and Alaska Permanent Fund will form a joint venture to control the three campuses that make up the operation. This is the first time the Alaskan pension fund has invested in Spain, having recently acquired the Golden Square Shopping Centre in Warrington.

The sale is seen by many analysts of indicative of troubled times in the retail and commercial sector in the province, after five similar commercial centres exchanged hands last year, all taken over by different investment groups, all taking advantage of reduced prices in the sector, looking for attractive returns on that investment.

However, other industry analysts say the opposite, reporting that it is due to the popularity and growth of these centres that makes them viable assets for investment companies, who are almost guaranteed a return, without the risk to their finances.

As the largest commercial centre in the Alicante Province, the Zenia Boulevard has just celebrated its second birthday, and currently plays home to a variety of major retail outlets such as Alcampo, Decathlon, Leroy Merlin and Media Markt, amongst many others, and there is an area dedicated to food and drink. In addition, it has a large car parking facility and is located close to the motorway network.

Footfall in the centre has increased by 16% in the year from September 2013 to September of this year, with a staggering 11 million people recorded as having visited the centre during the year.

The Zenia Boulevard has an area of 161,000 square metres, of which 80,000 is leasable area, which makes it the largest shopping and leisure centre in the province of Alicante. The venue opened in September 2012 and has 150 stores, with a commercialized area greater than 96% of capacity.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45389/

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