Allianz Doing Multi-Million-Dollar Sale-Leaseback Deal with Grocer Aldi
The German real estate unit of Frankfurt-based Allianz SE (ALV.XE), Europe's largest insurer by premium income, is buying 80 retail outlets in southern Germany owned by Aldi Immobilien KG in a multi-million-dollar leaseback deal aimed at diversifying its investment portfolio.
Aldi, which is one of Germany's largest discount grocery retail chains, will continue to operate the outlets, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Aldi Sued is the main long-term lessee of the outlets, which have an average sales area of 900 square meters, Allianz said.
The deal is expected to close by year end, according to Dow Jones. Neither party would disclose the specific value of the transaction.
Frank Neumann, a real-estate stock analyst for Bankhaus Lampe, said he estimates the value of the deal at around EUR 80 million (US $103 million)
One person familiar with the matter told Dow Jones the transaction value was "a clear three-digit-million euros amount."
Allianz has recently made real-estate investments in shopping malls and office real-estate.
Outside Germany, Aldi is also present in 17 other countries. Of these, 15 countries are in Europe, the rest are in U.S. and Australia.
Aldi Sued operates more than 1,780 retail branches in western and southern Germany. Aldi Nord operates more than 2,500 retail outlets in northern and eastern Germany.
Allianz said in March it plans to increase investment in real-estate by 77% to EUR30 billion by 2013 from EUR17 billion in 2009, according to Dow Jones.
In that period, it plans to change the portfolio mix toward substantially higher retail real-estate and lower office and residential property.
It also said it aims to increase the share of retail investments in the Americas and in Asia-Pacific and lower the European portion.
Allianz recently invested in office property in Germany, France and the U.S., and bought stakes in shopping malls near Paris and in Budapest.