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CB Richard Ellis, together with its affiliate company in Bulgaria – MBL, exclusively advised Europa Capital on securing the acquisition of Mall of Sofia, a prime Bulgarian shopping centre, from GE Capital and Avestus Capital Partners.

The 23,600 sq m Mall of Sofia is one of the most established shopping centres in Bulgaria, boasting a first-class line up of tenants including Piccadilly, Cinema City, Technomarket and Intersport. The retailers have been very optimistic about 2011 as the Bulgarian economic situation continues to improve and turnover figures are expected to rise.

The Mall of Sofia was completed in 2006 and also has 10,400 sq m of office accommodation. With a transaction volume in excess of 100 million euro this will represent the largest retail investment transaction in Bulgaria since 2008. Additionally, it will be Europa Capital’s second retail investment deal in Bulgaria after the 20 million euro acquisition of Retail Park Plovdiv in Q1 2011, when MBL | CB Richard Ellis was again the preferred advisor.  Retail investment turnover has been on a steady rise since it reached the bottom in early 2009: CEE retail investment turnover totaled 1.8 billion euro in 2010, double the level registered in 2009.

Henry Morris, Acquisitions, Europa Capital, said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment in one of the region’s strongest assets.  Mall of Sofia has an excellent trading history combined with the opportunity to improve the tenant mix and performance in the future.”

Asen Lisev, Managing Director of MBL (part of the CB Richard Ellis Network), said: “This illustrates the significant value that is available in the CEE and SEE retail investment markets when compared to other parts of Europe: buying strong real estate at attractive levels of return.”

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