The agreement covers both properties that came with REMA 1000's acquisition of ALDI's store network in Denmark, as well as locations that REMA 1000 had in its real estate portfolio from earlier. Instead of owning the properties covered by the agreement, REMA 1000 will now be the tenant.
AKA, Reitan Eiendom and Straen have together established the Norwegian company DK Retail Invest AS. This is owned by AKA with 49 per cent, Reitan Eiendom with 36 per cent and Straen with 15 per cent. Vika Project Finance has acted as facilitator for the transaction.
The 64 properties initially covered by the agreement consist of REMA 1000 stores spread throughout Denmark. AKA will now now also be nationwide in the Danish market, just as the company has been in Norway since 2017.
"The acquisition of the Danish real estate portfolio marks a major new milestone for AKA. When we for the first time make such a significant investment outside Norway, it has been important for us as owners to achieve a Norwegian buyer constellation. We have succeeded in this, which we are happy about," says Hallvard Thoresen on behalf of AKA's owners.
"We are also proud to have been able to finance such a large real estate transaction on good terms in Nordea in light of the prevailing market conditions. AKA has a long-term growth and development strategy that has become more difficult to implement portfolio-wise as we have become so large in the Norwegian market. In the last 10 years alone, we have made investments of more than NOK seven billion in Norway. We therefore now see Denmark as a very exciting opportunity to continue the implementation of our strategy at the desired pace,” Thoresen says.
CFO of REITAN, Kristin S. Genton, says the long and good cooperation with AKA made it natural to seek partnership with this particular real estate player. “It is important for us to have good and solid landlords for our locations, and we have cooperated well with AKA for a long time. Now we look forward to also being part of the shareholder community," says Genton.
According to Jane Gravbråten, CEO of AKA, the leases with REMA 1000 in Denmark are long-term barehouse agreements. AKA will be responsible for technical and commercial management of the properties, including the work to further develop the properties in cooperation with the tenant. The first properties will be taken over by mid-February and the remaining by the end of 2024.
“AKA has since 2011 had a very close and good cooperation with Reitan Retail, and we already own 101 properties that house their stores and other concepts all over the Norway. We have previously been successful in entering new markets, for example in Northern Norway. When the opportunity to acquire such a large property portfolio in Denmark, to be run by one of our largest partners, was presented to us by Vika Project Finance, we saw it as a golden opportunity for further growth and development in a very large and attractive new market for us. For AKA this will mean that in 2024 we will have annual rental income of more than NOK 1 billion in wholly and partly owned commercial properties,” says Gravbråten who continues:
"In addition to existing leases, the lease agreements with REMA 1000 in Denmark also include exciting opportunities to further develop the properties. We do this continuously in Norway with investments of more than NOK 100 million annually in recent years in close cooperation with our tenants. For example, together with REMA 1000 Denmark, we will try to contribute to the roll-out of ultrafast EV-chargers from Uno-X Mobility in connection with the stores where appropriate.”
Facts about AKA AS in Norway – wholly and partly owned properties
Number of properties: 237
Number of sqm.: approx. 530.000
Annual rent: approx. NOK 860 million
Facts about DK Retail Invest AS in Denmark
Number of properties: 64
Number of sqm.: approx. 77,000
Annual rent: approx. NOK 150 million