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Mitiska Ventures raises EUR41m through its FRI club deal

Mitiska Ventures, a Brussels-based real estate investment management company set up as a subsidiary of Mitiska, has held an interim closing of its First Retail International (FRI) club deal at EUR41m.

Mitiska, which has 30 years of experience and a track record in retail and retail real estate across Europe, has committed EUR10m to FRI as the sponsor of the club deal, alongside Belgian, Dutch, Luxembourg and Swiss private and institutional investors.

FRI is a specialist retail property company which invests exclusively in retail warehouse properties across Europe. Within this retail warehouse niche, FRI targets both opportunistic and value-added type investments from a “(re)develop-and-hold” perspective. By applying a conservative leverage strategy (max. 50 per cent loan-to-value) with full distribution of profits and proceeds, FRI’s objective is to provide its investors with a regular cash return of three to six per cent p.a., together with long-term capital appreciation resulting in a total IRR of 10 to 15 per cent to investors.

FRI will invest on a ± 50:50 basis in both Western and Central and Eastern Europe. As the retail warehouse market is mainly locally driven, investments outside of Belgium will in principle be undertaken in partnership with experienced local country partners. FRI benefits from an exclusive country partnership which has been entered into with Alpha Property Development (InterCora Group) for Romania, and discussions are underway relating to several other countries.

FRI is managed by Mitiska Ventures, a specialist team which has combined experience of more than 85 years in the European retail warehouse sector and which has worked together closely at Mitiska over the past six years. In that time, the team has built up an attractive project pipeline representing a total investment volume of around EUR100m. These pipeline projects have been contributed to FRI by Mitiska as a seed portfolio and represent a nine to 10 per cent yield on investment. Alongside these pipeline projects, Mitiska Ventures is working on a robust pipeline of new leads which will further grow and diversify FRI’s portfolio.

Luc Geuten, chairman, Mitiska Ventures, says: “FRI’s set-up allows Mitiska to continue to be an active investor in the retail warehouse niche and to receive further exposure to a sector which has proven to be stable and liquid in different economic environments. FRI is building up a balanced retail warehouse portfolio offering long-term, inflation-linked income from high quality tenants, with the added security of good quality underlying real estate.”

Mitiska Ventures plans to raise FRI’s capital in further closings to maximum EUR75m, enabling FRI to invest up to around EUR200m in the European retail warehouse niche.

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