Wereldhave is investing €850m in a French retail portfolio.

The Dutch investor said it agreed to buy six shopping centres in France from Unibail-Rodamco at a net 5.5% yield.

The portfolio includes one asset in greater Paris in Argenteuil, centres in Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Le Havre and two centres in Rouen.

Overall, the portfolio is 91% let, with grocery chains Auchan and Casino among the tenants, as well as Gaumont and UGC cinemas.

Wereldhave said the deal would allow it expand in European retail and increase its portfolio of mid-sized centres.

The assets average 33,750sqm.

Dirk Anbeek, chief executive, said entering the French market made “a lot of strategic sense”, despite the country’s macro-economic problems.

“At the end of the day, it is the quality of the portfolio in a micro-environment that is key to its long-term success,” he said.

“The centres we intend to acquire have proven to be resilient, even in the recent years of economic downturn.”

Anbeek will temporarily manage a French retail organisation to operate the portfolio until a retail director is recruited.

The company said it would finance the deal through a €550m rights issue, as well as existing debt and cash.

The deal, whose completion is expected by year-end, coincides with the merger of two listed companies specialising in European retail property.

French REIT Klépierre is currently in the process of merging with Dutch firm Corio.