Danish pension funds ATP and PensionDanmark are selling four retail properties housing the upmarket department store chain Magasin back to the retailer’s owners for an undisclosed sum.

The pension funds said in a joint statement that the properties on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen, in Lyngby, Aarhus and Odense, were now being sold back to the department store’s owners, after more than a decade in the hands of ATP Real Estate and PensionDanmark.

Peter Fabricius, Magasin’s chief executive officer said the buyback of the four properties had long been at the top of the company’s wish list.

“It is our clear opinion that customers continue to prioritise physical trade, and with the ownership, this means that we can now develop and invest long-term,” he said.

The pension fund pair bought the properties in two stages around a decade ago - the buildings in Aarhus, Odense and Lyngby in 2010 and the flagship Magasin du Nord property in central Copenhagen in 2013.

ATP and PensionDanmark, which have been 50/50 owners of the buildings, said: “The sale of the Magasin properties is taking place on the initiative of Magasin, which, with the purchase, wishes to strengthen Magasin’s long-term position in the retail market.”

The Magasin chain was bought in May 2021 by Germany’s Peek & Cloppenburg, having been put up for sale the year before by troubled UK retail group Debenhams.

André Scharf, CIO at ATP Real Estate, said: “For us, the deal has given us the opportunity to continue adjusting our property portfolio.

“We have been increasing our focus for some time on our investments in office properties in Danish cities and also on our own role as active owners of real estate in Denmark,” he said.

Marius Møller, senior vice president, real estate at PensionDanmark, said the retail buildings had been a sensible, long-term investment and provided good returns for scheme members’ pension savings.

With its new ownership, he said, it made sense for the “striking” properties to become part of the Magasin group once more.

“PensionDanmark’s focus is increasingly centred on self-developed urban areas and commercial properties, and the sale frees up funds to pursue this strategy further,” Møller said.

Both pension funds told IPE they would not disclose the value of the transactions.

But a spokesman for ATP Real Estate said: “We can however confirm that our return on our investment during the past ten years in the Magasin properties has been satisfactory.

“Our main motivation for the transaction has been an adjustment of our portfolio as well as the fact that the transaction made strategic sense from the perspective of both seller and buyer,” he said.

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