Europa Capital has contracted its second acquisition in Germany for its pan-European investment fund, Europa Fund III, acquiring a controlling shareholding in the company which owns Designer Outlets Wolfsburg.
The designer outlet centre is one of just 10 such existing centres in Germany, where planning permission for the concept has proven difficult to obtain. The centre was developed, and is managed by Hans Dobke's Outlet Centres International, which developed Germany's first outlet centre in Zweibruecken, which was last year voted European Outlet Centre of the Year.
The 11,640 sq metre first phase of Designer Outlets Wolfsburg was opened in December 2007 and its 50 stores are fully let to fashion and sports brands including Polo Ralph Lauren, adidas, Nike, Escada, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc O'Polo, Diesel, Gant, Lacoste and Fossil. Europa will fund the development of the fully consented 6,000 sq metre second phase, which is already significantly prelet.
Nic Fox, head of the Middle Europe region at Europa Capital, commented: "This marks Europa's first investment into the outlet sector and we are pleased to have as a partner the 'pioneer' of the sector in Germany".
Hans Dobke, who together with former Cushman & Wakefield retail specialist Stephan Schaefer manages the centre, says "We are excited to be in a position to move the centre forward with the extension into phase II, and look forward to extending the relationship with Europa into further projects".
Europa Capital is an established real estate fund management group operating from offices across Europe.
Outlet Centres International (OCI) was founded by Hans Dobke in 1996 and is a specialist developer, owner and operator of Designer Outlet Centres, with a focus on the German market. The holding company, Outlet Centres Internationl (UK) Ltd, is based in London, England with a subsidiary in Germany – OCI (Germany) GmbH.