A Swedish insurer paid Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) about 4 billion kronor ($580 million) for three shopping centers in Stockholm, two people with knowledge of the transaction said.
The malls were bought by AMF Pensionsfoersaekring AB’s property unit, according to a statement today from the life insurer’s adviser, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. The statement didn’t include the price. The people with knowledge of the deal asked not to be identified because its value is private.
“This is the largest retail transaction in Sweden in 2011 and the largest retail investment ever made by a domestic investor,” said Daniel Gorosch, Jones Lang’s head of capital markets in Sweden.
Sweden’s economy grew at an annual rate of 4.6 percent in the third quarter, attracting overseas investors for prime real estate generating regular rental income. Retail-related property sales in Sweden will probably total 16 billion kronor this year, making the country one of Europe’s five biggest investment markets for retail outlets, Jones Lang estimates.
RBS, Britain’s biggest government-owned bank, declined to comment on AMF’s acquisition of the Faeltoeversten, Vaestermalmsgallerian and Ringen malls.
The shopping centers are among the 10 malls in Stockholm that the city sold in 2007 for about 10.4 billion kronor to Centeni AB, a venture between London-based investment company Boultbee and a unit of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Lehman’s collapse in 2008 prompted RBS to take over the investment bank’s 49 percent stake in Centeni. In May, RBS purchased the rest of the shares from Boultbee.
The transaction will leave RBS with one property in the Centeni portfolio, the Skaerholmen center, which the bank intends to refurbish under plans to be disclosed early next year.
RBS said in an e-mailed statement today that it has raised more than 4.5 billion kronor from the sale of the nine centers this year.
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