Sonae buys 20% of UK group Grosvenor for €255 million

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The Portuguese multinational Sonae is to reinforce its position in Sonae Sierra – a company that it already holds — by buying 20% of the UK group Grosvenor for €255 million.

In a communiqué, Sonae states that it has “concluded an agreement with the Grosvenor group for the acquisition of a 20% share of Sonae Sierra for an estimated total value of €255 million.”

The transaction will allow Grosvenor to realise capital and provide added firepower to its international property activities, rebalancing and fine tuning its portfolio in the continued pursuit of the Group’s established international diversification strategy.

The transaction is subject to anti-trust approval. Upon this being confirmed, Grosvenor’s stake in Sonae Sierra will reduce to 30% and Sonae’s SGPSs will increase to 70%.

Mark Preston, Grosvenor Group Chief Executive, said: ‘The decision to reduce our shareholding in Sonae Sierra is an important step in the rebalancing of our international property portfolio. We look forward to continuing the strong relationship with Sonae and Sonae Sierra which we have enjoyed for over two decades.’

Currently, Sonae Sierra, which specialises in property and manages shopping centres all over the world, is held by Sonae (50%) and Grosvenor (50%). With the acquisition now completed, Sonae has strengthened its position by now holding 70%.

The agreement reached with the Grosvenor group will enable Sonae to “reinforce its share and influence in a benchmark player in the retail property sector while at the same time increasing the group’s international profile,” states the communiqué sent to the market.

According to Sonae, this British group “will continue to be a strategic partner,” despite having secured the rights to an eventual exit as a minority shareholder.”

The acquisition requires the stamp of approval from the competent competition authority. Sonae will manage and co-control a portfolio of €7Bn of assets (market value) representing 46 shopping centres in Europe and South America, with a GLA (Gross Lettable Area) of 1.9 million m2.

Sonae Sierra is in 12 countries, has over 9,300 contracts with shop proprietors and manages shopping centres that in 2017 registered a footfall of over 438 million visitors.