Gazit-Globe’s Citycon Buys Norway’s Sektor for $1.65 Billion

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Citycon Oyj, a unit of Chaim Katzman’s Gazit-Globe Group, bought Norwegian shopping-center owner Sektor Gruppen for about 1.5 billion euros ($1.65 billion) to expand in the Nordic region.

The purchase will give Citycon a foothold in Norway, where Sektor Gruppen owns or holds majority stakes in 20 shopping centers, Citycon said in a statement today. Most are located in Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger.

The purchase makes Gazit-Globe the largest listed retail owner in the Nordic region and the third-biggest in Europe by gross assets, spokesman Zamir Dahbash said by e-mail. The Tel Aviv-based company manages more than $21 billion of assets with more than 70 million square feet of leaseable area, according to the e-mail.

“The transaction is a defining step forward in our goal to be the household name for Nordic and Baltic shopping centers,” Citycon’s Chief Executive Officer Marcel Kokkeel said in today’s statement.

Citycon is the largest shopping-center owner in Finland and Estonia and also operates in Sweden and Denmark. Following the transaction it will own 55 centers in the Nordic countries and Estonia and will be the second-largest shopping center owner in Norway. Of its current centers, 21 were located in Finland and 10 in Sweden at the end of the first quarter.

The company plans to raise 600 million euros through a rights offer to help finance the purchase, according to the statement. It is buying Sektor Gruppen from the company’s owners Joh Handel Eiendom 1 AS, Varner Invest AS and K&S Holding AS.

Citycon announced the acquisition of a shopping center in Copenhagen earlier this year and the purchase of the Kista Galleria Shopping Centre in Stockholm in late 2012. Last year, it also signed a joint venture agreement with NCC Property Development for the construction and letting of Moelndals Galleria near Gothenburg, Sweden.

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