Sha­co­las sells malls to At­ter­bury Group of S. Africa

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The NK Sha­co­las Group, the largest re­tail op­er­a­tor in Cyprus, has sold its two com­mer­cial prop­er­ties in Nicosia to the Johannesburg-listed At­ter­bury Prop­erty Group for EUR 194 mln.

This con­tin­ues Group founder Ni­cos Sha­co­las’s love af­fair with South Africa, hav­ing sold its con­trol­ling stake in the is­land’s sec­ond mo­bile op­er­a­tor to the MTN Group.

The funds raised from dis­pos­ing of as­sets are ex­pected to pay down debts es­ti­mated at 180 mln and help fi­nance the next phase of de­vel­op­ment and com­ple­tion of the am­bi­tious Limni Re­sort, a lux­ury golf and hol­i­day home pro­ject near Po­lis Chryso­c­hous that has stum­bled upon ob­jec­tions from state en­vi­ron­ment ser­vices and other groups.

The an­nounce­ment said that Group sub­sidiaries Wool­worth (Cyprus) Prop­er­ties Plc, Ermes Depart­ment Stores Plc, ITTL Trade Tourist & Leisure Park Plc and Wool­worth Com­mer­cial Cen­tre Plc have sold the land of the The Mall of Cyprus and The Mall of En­gomi to At­ter­bury Cyprus Lim­ited, a sub­sidiary of the South African gi­ant and owns and de­vel­ops mega-projects.

At­ter­bury’s port­fo­lio in­cludes 11 malls, chief among them be­ing the 131 000 sq.m. Mall of Africa, South Africa’s big­gest sin­gle-phase shop­ping mall de­vel­op­ment to date that will open in April 2016.

As part of the trans­ac­tion, the re­turn on in­vest­ment for the Sha­co­las Group is es­ti­mated at EUR 71 mln.

Wool­worth Prop­er­ties still owns a plot of 10,890 sq.m. next to the Mall of Cyprus worth EUR 9 mln for which At­ter­bury will have the first right of re­fusal over the next two years.

Mean­while, the Sha­co­las Group is­sued a state­ment on Mon­day re­spond­ing to crit­i­cism from the ETEK cham­ber of engi­neers and ar­chi­tects, that had al­leged last week that due to a state re­lax­ation the value of the Mall of Cyprus had risen by EUR 20 mln.

“This is un­true,” the state­ment said, adding that in­stead the gov­ern­ment had pro­ceeded with a uni­ver­sal up­grade of sev­eral com­mer­cial ar­eas through­out Cyprus as in­cen­tives to boost the econ­omy. The Mall of Cyprus is in­cluded among the many des­ig­nated ar­eas.

“How­ever, is it not a con­tra­dic­tion that a de­vel­op­ment per­mit was granted to another mall, on the out­skirts of Nicosia, twice the size of our Mall?” con­cluded the an­nounce­ment.

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