October 1 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian real estate investment trust (REIT) FairPlay Properties said on Thursday it sold building rights to Lidl Bulgaria, part of German discount supermarket chain Lidl, for 2.3 million euro ($3.3 million), value-added tax excluded.
Lidl will build a supermarket at the REIT's Trade Park Trakia, a shopping centre located in Bulgaria's second largest city of Plovdiv, FairPlay said in a statement.
The construction of the Lidl supermarket will be the first stage of the trade centre project. The second part of the park, to be built on a total area of 22,000 square metres, will entail the construction of a supermarket of a European non-food retailer, the REIT said without elaborating.
FairPlay Properties (www.fpp.bg) will use the money to reduce its credit exposure, it said and added that it repaid 5.4 million euro in principal since the beginning of the year.
Lidl is part of German chain Schwarz, which is already present in Bulgaria through its Kaufland discount supermarkets.
The main players on the Bulgarian retail market are Piccadilly, owned by Serbia's Delta Maxi, the local units of Slovenia's Mercator, France's Carrefour, Germany's Kaufland, Metro Cash & Carry and HIT, and Lithuania's Maxima, as well as smaller Bulgarian players like Fantastiko. No data is available on the market share of those retailers. Germany's Penny Market has also announced plans to enter Bulgaria in 2009.
Discount retailer Plus, part of German group Tengelmann, will enter the Bulgarian market later in October with the launch of six outlets.
Shares of FairPlay Properties, listed on the bourse of Sofia since February 2006, rose 3.19% to 0.49 levs on Thursday.
($ = 0.6875 euro)
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