MERLIN Properties acquires the Almada shopping centre in Lisbon for €406.7 million

MERLIN Properties SOCIMI S.A., (“MERLIN”) (MC:MRL) has announced today the acquisition of FORUM ALMADA – GESTÃO DE CENTRO COMERCIAL, SOCIEDADE UNIPESSOAL, Lda., owner of Almada Forum shopping centre in Lisbon. The transaction price, fully financed through MERLIN’s equity, amounted to € 406.7 million.

Opened in 2002, the complex has a gross leasable area (GLA) of approximately 82,000 sqm, of which 22,000 sqm are a Jumbo supermarket belonging to Auchan, and includes 5,500 parking spaces.

Almada Forum is the undisputed dominant shopping and leisure destination in the south bank of the Tagus river, receiving more than 14.4 million visitors per annum. The popularity of the complex in terms of visitors goes hand in hand with its commercial success, currently nearing full occupancy (98% of GLA let).

Due to its excellent connections to the centre of Lisbon, to the A-2 motorway connecting Lisbon to the southern regions of Portugal and to the IC20 connecting Lisbon to the popular beaches of Costa da Caparica, the catchment area covers a population of almost 2.8 million people.

This dominant shopping centre features an attractive and superbly balanced retail mix which includes prestigious operators such as Inditex Group’s brands, Primark, H&M, C&A, SportZone, FNAC and NOS Cinemas.

With annual gross rents of € 24 million, the asset offers potential for future rental growth through improvements in the management, variable rents and focused capex on selected areas.

Following this acquisition, MERLIN’s shopping center division will generate annualized gross rents of more than 125 million euros while further enhancing its portfolio quality and increasing the core urban and dominant relative weight to 85%.

Ismael Clemente, CEO of MERLIN Properties stated: “The Almada Forum shopping centre is an example of an exceptional asset which is rarely found in the market. Quality mall shopping is the favourite retail option for Portuguese people. Despite competition by new online channels, the mall format continues growing at a very steady pace these days in the Iberian Peninsula and we believe in its future through transformation and adaptation to an ever-changing retail world”.