International investment fund invests $75 million in shopping malls
EPN Investment Management recently purchased seven retail shopping malls from certain affiliates of Australia-based Charter Hall Retail REIT, in a deal priced at $75 million. The seven properties are located in Georgia, Oregon and Florida, and total 650,000 square feet. The tenancy rate is 91%. EPN's parent company Elbit Imaging Ltd. said $22.7 million of the purchase price will go toward debt on the property. As of the purchase date, the properties had a net operating income of about $7 million, or an annual yield of 9.2%. "We identified the assets, which comply with our investment profile, and in cooperation with our U.S.-based team we executed this transaction following an extensive and professional examination," commented Dudi Machluf, chief executive officer of Elbit. "We believe that there is great potential for enhancement in the assets acquired." The purchase was made by a new joint venture entity comprised of four players: property builder Elbit Imaging of Tel Aviv, Israel; developer Plaza Centers N.V. (also an indirect subsidiary of Elbit); Eastgate Property Holding of the Philippines; and EPN Real Estate Fund. EPN Real Estate Fund is a U.S.-based international fund formed by Elbit, Plaza Centers and Eastgate as part of their U.S. investment strategy. The seven-property purchase was the second transaction in which the real estate fund was used, according to Machluf. Write to Christine Ricciardi.