Property investment firm Blackstone has bought a 22,000 sqm shopping centre from an unnamed Austrian bank and acquired an Italian company that specialises in managing such facilities.
Blackstone’s Real Estate Partners Europe IV fund bought the asset, the Palmanova Outlet Village, which is to be owned and managed by Blackstone subsidiary Multi, a business that manages shopping centres across Europe and Turkey.
The Palmanova Outlet Village is located between Trieste and Venice and opened in 2008.
It has more than 90 shops, including Calvin Klein, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger, and has had around 3m customer visits a year.
Blackstone declined to say how much it paid for the asset.
As a result of this deal, Multi said Blackstone now owned a portfolio of five upmarket factory outlet centres in Italy – in Lombardy, Tuscany, the Venice region and Puglia.
This made the platform one of the largest in Italy, it said, with 150,000 sqm of space in total, around 650 shops and annual sales of nearly €400m.
Cushman & Wakefield advised Blackstone on the acquisition.
Multi also said Blackstone had bought Added Value Management (AVM), an Italian company that manages outlet centres, and one that Blackstone used as external manager for its outlet centres.
As a subsidiary of Multi, AVM will be rebranded and called Multi Outlet Management Italy, becoming Multi’s specialist factory outlet centre team.
Neither the seller nor the price of this deal was disclosed.
Blackstone bought Multi back in October 2013.
Last month, Tristan Capital Partners made its first foray into the Italian market, buying a portfolio of retail assets in the country, paying €122m for four shopping centres, in Piedmont, Rome and Sicily.
It said at the time that Italy was “firmly back on the radar screens of pan-European investors”.
With growing interest from international investors in commercial real estate in Italy, major Italian property owner Generali Real Estate said in April it was unlikely to sell assets from its core and trophy Milan portfolio, even though it made a few sales of non-core assets last year in the city.
Instead, it said it intends to focus on improving the quality of its existing portfolio, according to its managing director for Italy.