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Carrefour In Sofia Sold For To Greek Fund For 200 Million Euro

French retail giant Carrefour sold its development, which is currently being constructed on Sofia’s Tsarigradsko Chausse Blvd, to Greek fund Assos Capital, for roughly 200 million euro, Alexandros Papageorgiou, the new fund's managing director, said in a statement, as quoted by Kapital weekly.

This is the biggest transaction in Bulgaria’s real estate sector since the start of the year and second-biggest re-sale in the segment, topped only by Landmark’s sale for 210 million euro, but ahead of the 180-million deal for Business Park Sofia.

Carrefour’s transaction includes the land and the buyer's commitment to invest in the completion of the adjoining commercial centre, which now at its initial building phase.

The world’s second-largest retail chain will retain the ownership of the 14 600 sq m hypermarket, located in the mall. Colliers, the exclusive agent of the retail compound, has already secured 70 per cent occupancy. A major stake in renting out the establishment falls to Carrefour’s partner - Greek company Marinopoulos, which holds the rights to Marks&Spencer and Starbucks for Bulgaria.

The mall, with a total built-up area of 66 000 sq m, will have 200 shops, restaurants, a multiplex cinema and a bowling centre. Several office buildings, which are not a part of the deal with the Greek fund, will also be part of the compound. They have not started renting out though.

The investment in the retail and office complexes totals 200 million euro, according to the French executive’s initial estimates, announced last autumn.

This year, Bourgas will see the opening of the first Carrefour hypermarket in Bulgaria, which will be smaller in size than the Sofia one. The French retailer plans to open about 20 hypermarkets in Bulgaria.

Assos Capital is a private Greek property fund, focused on investment in South Eastern Europe and Ukraine. It was set up at the turn of 2007 with a paid-in capital of about 20 million euro, which subsequently hiked to 40 million euro, Greek media reported.

The fund concluded its first transaction in Bulgaria in February last year. It was the acquisition of an office building in downtown Sofia for 4.5 million euro. The Greek company is also reported to own a business building in Sofia’ Mladost neighbourhood, as well. The fund’s resources were raised through institutional investors and individuals, Papageorgiou said. Members of the Greek shipping family Restis, which also has interests in the banking, real estate and media business, are among Assos Capital’s key shareholders.