M&G Real Estate has acquired the BIG Shopping Center in Copenhagen more than five years after the 40,700sqm retail park was acquired by CBRE Investment Management.

CBRE IM, which is selling the asset on behalf of its European Co-Investment Fund (ECF), said it was one of the largest single-asset retail transactions since the beginning of the pandemic in the Nordics and Europe.

Opened in 2015, BIG is hybrid retail asset, combining attributes of a retail park and shopping centre. It has fully occupied with 24 tenants and is anchored by two supermarkets and two large electronic stores.

“As a convenience shopping destination, BIG has proven to be resilient against the transitioning retail landscape,” said Mark Kouters, fund manager for ECF.

“Even with the increase in online shopping and COVID, BIG has increased occupancy over the past few years.

“We have completed our business plan for this asset, which was to improve the tenant mix, unlock reversion on ground floor units and increase occupancy levels.

“With a backdrop of strong investor appetite for Nordics retail, it is an appropriate time to exit, and we are very pleased to have achieved a positive sale for our investors.”

Simon Ellis, fund manager at M&G, said: “Retail parks have shown their resilience during the pandemic, faring particularly well against online shopping and playing a key role in fulfilling online orders.

“This deal reflects the attractive opportunities we are seeing to acquire high quality assets with solid performance track records at a healthy yield premium relative to other sectors. We will continue to allocate selectively as we look to provide consistent returns for our investors.” 

Robert Göthe, director of asset and investment for M&G in the Nordics, said: “BIG is particularly well located with excellent transport links and is an important social hub for the local community.

“The pipeline for this type of unique retail warehouse offering in Copenhagen, which provides a wide cross section of retailers and experiential shopping is very limited. The shifting consumer focus to bulky goods, food and DIY items, which remain immune to online shopping patterns, will also ensure the resilience of retail park rents as the economy and retail sales stabilise.”