Pension fund ABP will become full owner of VIA Outlets through pension provider APG, which also includes Batavia Stad in Lelystad. APG pays just over 300 million euros for half of the shares in VIA Outlets, the other half already owned them.
VIA Outlets has a total of eleven outlet centers in nine European countries with more than eleven hundred stores. "We think it's a good time to step in," said an APG spokesperson on Friday. "The consumer likes to keep going to outlets, or perhaps just now."
The market value of the outlet centers in Portugal, Spain and Norway, among others, amounts to more than 1.5 billion euros, according to APG. The pension provider could buy the interest at a discount.
APG invests money from the ABP pension fund to make more of it. In addition to shares, investments are also made in so-called real assets. "As in roads, offices, homes and shopping centers," said the spokesperson.
The pension investor buys the shares in VIA Outlets from Hammerson, which in turn is a UK listed real estate owner. "We also have a 20 percent equity interest in Hammerson." The property owner announced this week that it will issue new shares and sell its stake in VIA Outlets.
APG also buys new shares in Hammerson to maintain the interest, which involves an amount of 120 million euros.
After approval from the other shareholders and the competition authorities, Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet will become Dutch-owned almost twenty years after its opening.