Shacolas sells malls to Atterbury Group of S. Africa
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.