Retail real estate company Sonae Sierra has entered the Polish market with the acquisition of a 50% stake in Balmain Asset Management Group’s central European platform.

Sonae said the newly created Sierra Balmain joint venture will not be a direct investor but will continue to provide asset management, property management and leasing services services to its investor clients.

The Poland and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) market joint venture will manage over €1bn of assets including 1,170 leases across more than 430,000sqm of gross lettable area.

Sonae currently provides services to clients in Portugal, Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey. It owns 46 shopping centres worth around €7bn, and manages and/or leases 79 shopping centres with a gross lettable area of 2.6m square metres.

Sonae said the partnership will initially be focusing on the continued expansion of Balmain’s Polish portfolio, which currently consists of 15 shopping centres.

Sierra Balmain will be led by James Turner, who will assume the role of managing director, alongside Paul Cawood, Tim Rylance, and Jonathan Turner who will be leading leasing, property management, and finance respectively.

Pedro Caupers, Sonae Sierra’s chief investment officer and board director, said: “We are used to partnerships in new markets, and the opportunity to join Balmain and capitalise on its unique synergies with Sonae Sierra will allow us to grow our business in Poland and other adjacent markets in the future.

“The joint venture reinforces Sonae Sierra’s service business with a very interesting portfolio of clients in Poland and a very experienced local team, while laying the groundwork for further growth across other CEE countries.”

Turner, said: “From the outset of the discussions we sensed the operational synergies and like-minded approach to creating innovative environments for our clients’ real estate investments.

“The combined knowledge, resources and capability of Sierra Balmain will bring a new perspective to Poland and the region in the areas that we operate.”

As part of the venture, Balmain Group’s subsidiaries BSC Real Estate Advisors and BSC Property Management, will be renamed in line with the Sierra Balmain.