French mall operator Klépierre is acquiring Holland’s Cório in a 7.2 billion euro ($9.67 billion) deal that, pending shareholder agreement, will create Europe’s largest retail-only property company. Cório has 57 shopping centers in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. Klépierre owns 125 centers in 40 cities and 13 countries, valued at a total 14 billion euros as of June of this year. The asset value of the combined group will exceed 21 billion euros, giving it a wider presence in Europe’s key markets.
“The transaction that we propose today will create the leading pan-European pure play retail property, with an unrivalled footprint in Continental Europe, a consistent portfolio of leading shopping centers and a team of seasoned professionals with deep knowledge of regional retail markets,” said Laurent Morel, chairman of Klépierre’s executive board, in a prepared statement released by both companies. “We believe this is a unique opportunity to drive change in the retail landscape for the benefit of our clients and our customers, our employees and our shareholders.”
“Both companies firmly believe that all of our stakeholders will benefit from the proposed transaction,” said Gerard Groener, Cório’s CEO, in the same statement. “Size is becoming an increasingly decisive factor in the retail property market in order to create attractive shareholder returns over the long term and being able to compete for larger, high-performing retail properties.”
David Simon, chairman of the supervisory board of Klépierre, will be chairman of the combined group. David Simon is chairman of Simon, the largest mall landlord in the U.S., which owns about 28 percent of Klépierre.