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Outlet Mall Giant On The Block For €500M

Neinver's outlet mall in San Sebastian, Spain

Outlet malls have been one of the few bright spots in European retail for the past few years, and now one of the biggest names in the sector is up for sale for €500M.

The Spanish family which owns Madrid-based Neinver has appointed investment bank Credit Suisse to find a buyer for the company, Europroperty reports. Neinver specialises in developing and operating outlet malls, under brands including The Style Outlets.

Neinver owns stakes in and operates 17 outlet malls and five retail parks in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands. It has a joint venture with Nuveen, previously TH Real Estate, in which the U.S. firm bought into its existing portfolio with a view to developing more centres.

The sale will test the appetite for large corporate transactions in the retail sector, and be an indicator of whether big investors feel that outlet malls can continue to buck wider retail trends. Last year Brookfield pulled out of a deal to buy UK shopping centre REIT Intu for £2.8B, and since the value of the company has fallen to just £1.55B.

Outlet malls have been the strongest performing sector in Europe over the past decade and will remain one of the best value property sectors with many prime outlets having valuation yields 75 basis points higher than their shopping centre counterparts, according to a research note from Nuveen last year.

Neinver was started by the Losantos family in the Rioja region of Spain in 1969. It started as a generalist investor and developer and came to specialise in outlet malls. Last year it sold its industrial portfolio to Blackstone for €300M.