Bloomberg News

Simon Property Sells Stake in Venture With 46 Malls in Italy

January 12, 2012

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Simon Property Group Inc., the largest U.S. shopping mall owner, sold its stake in a venture that operates 46 Italian shopping centers for an undisclosed sum to its partner, French supermarket chain Auchan’s property unit.

Auchan’s Immochan acquired Simon Property’s 49 percent stake in Gallerie Commerciali Italia SpA, or GCI, to own the business outright, according to a statement yesterday by the property company based near Lille, France.

“Immochan’s increased holding in GCI allows the Auchan Group to pursue its development in Italy,” the company said in the statement.

Simon Property has scaled back its presence in Europe. The company, based in Indianapolis, sold seven malls in France and Poland that were held in a venture with Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec to Unibail-Rodamco SE for 715 million euros ($913 million) in 2010.

Auchan operates 51 large out-of-town supermarkets, or hypermarkets, in Italy and 1,700 supermarkets. GCI’s centers lease 500,000 square meters (5.38 million square feet) of property divided between 2,100 shops.

--Editors: Jeff St.Onge, Andrew Blackman

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Packard in London at packard@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net


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