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Private equity real estate group Cerberus is thought to be mulling the bundling of its German retail real estate interests, with a view to floating the assets on the stock market as a retail-focused property group.
Cerberus is one of the most active and experienced private equity investors in German real estate, both commercial and residential, and has shown an adept hand at entering and exiting German market segments at favourable times – so a move to profit from the build-up of its diverse retail interests will be watched carefully by competitors. The company has not commented on media reports about its retail plans.
Cerberus’ retail portfolio in Germany is currently valued at about €2bn and includes department stores and big box retailers. Back in 2007 it bought 112 buildings leased to the insolvent high-street retailer Woolworth, and in 2011 added 45 stores bought from listed retail group Metro AG, including 42 cash-and-carry stores with 900,000 sqm of lettable space, located across Germany’s larger cities.
Just last year, Cerberus sold its long-time stake in Berlin housing group GSW Immobilien alongside its partner Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Funds by bringing GSW to the stock market, which raised nearly €480m. It is also trying to raise $3.75 billion for a new European property funds, and has already raised more than $1.5bn for a new targeted distressed fund, with fundraising expected to be completed by the end of March.