Intu bets on Spanish recovery as it splashes out on shopping mall

 
City A.M. Reporter
SHOPPING centre owner Intu Properties said yesterday it had teamed up with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to buy a shopping centre in northern Spain, marking the beginning of a partnership with the North American dealmaker.

The two paid €162m (£136.7m) for the 75,000 square metre-large Parque Principado Shopping Centre in Asturias, implying a net initial yield of 7.2 per cent.

The mall, which opened in 2001, is 97 per cent occupied and had 9m visitors in 2012.

Intu said it wanted to attract additional third party capital to help fund its Spanish activities and was exploring the creation of a Spanish real estate investment trust for this purpose.

Intu, which owns some of Britain’s largest malls including the Trafford Centre in Manchester, first entered Spain in January 2012 when it purchased an option on a retail plot from its biggest shareholder, drawing a wave of negative feedback from investors and analysts who questioned the rationale.